Arterial hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, and retinal vessels can be regarded as a mirror of the cerebral vasculature. Whether vascular remodeling of retinal arterioles with ageing and hypertension plays a role in cerebrovascular risk stratification has not yet been adequately addressed. In study 1, retinal arteriolar structure was assessed in 182 normotensive volunteers and 117 patients with essential hypertension. In study 2, we compared retinal arteriolar structure among 74 normotensive volunteers, 47 patients with treated essential hypertension, and 18 subjects with a history of a cerebrovascular event. Retinal arteriolar structure was assessed using scanning laser Doppler flowmetry and automatic full-field perfusion imaging analysis. In study 1, wall:lumen ratio of retinal arterioles revealed a significant correlation with age (r=0.198; P=0.001). In study 2, wall:lumen ratio was highest in patients with a history of a cerebrovascular event compared with treated hypertensive and normotensive subjects (0.46±0.08, 0.36±0.14, and 0.35±0.12; P=0.007). When the treated group with hypertension was divided into 2 subgroups according to the quality of blood pressure control, patients with poor blood pressure control showed higher wall:lumen ratio than subjects with good blood pressure control (0.40±0.13 versus 0.31±0.13; P=0.025). Thus, assessment of wall:lumen ratio of retinal arterioles emerged as an attractive tool to identify treated patients with hypertension with increased cerebrovascular risk.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2007|