Previous studies show that both retinal vascular caliber and carotid disease predict incident stroke in the general population, but the exact relationship between these 2 microvascular and macrovascular structural risk factors is unclear. We studied the relationship between retinal vascular caliber and carotid disease in patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients with acute ischemic stroke recruited from 3 centers (Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore). The caliber of retinal arterioles and venules was measured from digital retinal photographs. Severe extracranial carotid disease was defined as stenosis >or=75% or occlusion determined by carotid Doppler using North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial-based criteria.
Among the 1029 patients with acute stroke studied, 7% of the population had severe extracranial carotid disease. Retinal venular caliber was associated with ipsilateral severe carotid disease (P<0.001 in multivariate models). Patients with wider retinal venular caliber were more likely to have severe ipsilateral carotid disease (multivariable-adjusted OR, 3.81; 95% CI, 1.80 to 8.07, comparing the largest and smallest venular caliber quartiles). The retinal venular caliber-carotid disease association remained significant in patients with large artery stroke.
In patients with acute stroke, retinal venular widening was strongly associated with ipsilateral severe extracranial carotid disease. Our findings suggest concomitant retinal and cerebral microvascular disease may be present in patients with carotid stenosis or occlusion disease. The pathogenesis of stroke due to carotid disease may thus be partially mediated by microvascular disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinal vascular caliber changes have been shown to predict stroke, but the underlying mechanism of this association is unknown. We examined the relationship between retinal vascular caliber with brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a measure of systemic endothelial function.
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) is a population-based study of persons 45 to 84 years of age residing in 6 US communities free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline. Brachial FMD data were collected at baseline (July 2000 to June 2002), and retinal vascular caliber was measured from digital retinal photographs at the second examination, immediately after the first (August 2002 to January 2004). Data were available for 2851 participants for analysis.
The mean brachial FMD was 4.39+/-2.79%. After adjusting for age and gender, brachial FMD was reduced in persons with wider retinal venular caliber (changes in FMD -0.25, 95% CI, -0.36, - 0.13; P<0.001, per SD increase in venular caliber). This relationship persists after adjusting for systolic blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, use of lipid-lowering and antihypertensive medication, body mass index, current smoking status, and hemoglobinA(1C) (-0.18; 95% CI -0.30, - 0.06; P=0.004, per SD increase in venular caliber). Brachial FMD was not associated with retinal arteriolar caliber.
Persons with wider retinal venules have reduced brachial FMD, independent of other vascular risk factors. This suggests that retinal venular caliber, previously shown to predict stroke, may be a marker of underlying systemic endothelial dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this project was to employ interdepartmental and cross district health board collaboration to reach a regional consensus on the management of patients who may benefit from carotid endarterectomy.
All regional stroke physicians, neurologists, and vascular surgeons met to review relevant literature and local audits and to discuss best management strategies suited to the region.
A consensus statement was agreed upon and is presented here along with a summary of the supporting scientific evidence.
Regional interdisciplinary collaboration proved an effective way to reach a carotid endarterectomy management consensus across a wider geographical area that is served by a single vascular surgery department. This approach could serve as a model for other regional initiatives.
The New Zealand medical journal 09/2010; 123(1323):58-74.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinal vessels provide a unique opportunity to study both systemic and cerebrovascular disease. Smaller retinal arteriolar calibers are strongly related to hypertension, whereas larger retinal venular calibers are more related to inflammation, cerebral hypoperfusion, and cerebrovascular disease. Whether retinal vessel calibers are related to dementia remains unclear.
We investigated whether retinal arteriolar and venular calibers are associated with risk of dementia, and its subtypes Alzheimer disease (AD) and vascular dementia, in the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study. Digitized retinal images were available in 5,553 participants aged 55 years or over and dementia-free at baseline (1990-1993). Participants were re-examined in 1993-1994, 1997-1999, and 2002-2004 and were continuously monitored for development of dementia.
During a mean follow-up of 11.6 years, 655 participants developed dementia. AD was diagnosed in 519 and vascular dementia in 73 participants. Larger venular calibers were associated with an increased risk of dementia, in particular vascular dementia (age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio per SD increase: 1.31; 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.64), but not AD. The association remained significant after adjustment for stroke and cardiovascular risk factors. Smaller arteriolar calibers were also associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia, yet only when adjusted for venular calibers.
Retinal venular widening is associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia. Our findings are in line with previous observations in stroke and cerebral small-vessel disease and suggest that the association between larger retinal venular calibers and dementia may reflect cerebral hypoperfusion and subsequent ischemia.
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