Associations of Retinal Microvascular Signs and Intracranial Large Artery Disease
ABSTRACT Intracranial large artery disease (ICLAD) is a major cause of ischemic stroke. Retinal microvascular changes are associated with stroke, including small vessel cerebral disease and extracranial carotid disease. We examined the relationship between ICLAD and retinal microvascular changes.
This is a prospective cohort of 802 acute ischemic stroke patients. Retinal changes were assessed from photographs by graders masked to clinical data. ICLAD was evaluated using prespecified criteria.
ICLAD was not associated with ipsilateral retinal arteriolar/venular caliber, focal arteriolar narrowing, or arteriovenous nicking. Severe enhanced arteriolar light reflex was independently associated with any ICLAD (P=0.006) and severe ICLAD (P<0.001).
Enhanced arteriolar light reflex, but not retinal vessel caliber, was related to ICLAD. These data suggest that retinal microvascular signs have specific associations with large cerebral vessel disease.
Hypertension 08/2013; 62(4). DOI:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01519 · 7.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The microcirculation consists of blood vessels with diameters less than 150 µm. It makes up a large part of the circulatory system and plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health. The retina is a tissue that lines the interior of the eye and it is the only tissue that allows for a non-invasive analysis of the microvasculature. Nowadays, high-quality fundus images can be acquired using digital cameras. Retinal images can be collected in 5 min or less, even without dilatation of the pupils. This unobtrusive and fast procedure for visualizing the microcirculation is attractive to apply in epidemiological studies and to monitor cardiovascular health from early age up to old age. Systemic diseases that affect the circulation can result in progressive morphological changes in the retinal vasculature. For example, changes in the vessel calibers of retinal arteries and veins have been associated with hypertension, atherosclerosis, and increased risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. The vessel widths are derived using image analysis software and the width of the six largest arteries and veins are summarized in the Central Retinal Arteriolar Equivalent (CRAE) and the Central Retinal Venular Equivalent (CRVE). The latter features have been shown useful to study the impact of modifiable lifestyle and environmental cardiovascular disease risk factors. The procedures to acquire fundus images and the analysis steps to obtain CRAE and CRVE are described. Coefficients of variation of repeated measures of CRAE and CRVE are less than 2% and within-rater reliability is very high. Using a panel study, the rapid response of the retinal vessel calibers to short-term changes in particulate air pollution, a known risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, is reported. In conclusion, retinal imaging is proposed as a convenient and instrumental tool for epidemiological studies to study microvascular responses to cardiovascular disease risk factors.Journal of Visualized Experiments 10/2014; DOI:10.3791/51904
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ABSTRACT: Background: Persons with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of dementia compared to those without, but the etiology of this increased risk is unclear. Objective: Cerebral microvascular disease may mediate the link between diabetes and dementia. Given the anatomical and physiological similarities between cerebral and retinal microvessels, we examined the longitudinal association between diabetic retinal disease and dementia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Longitudinal cohort study of 29,961 patients with type 2 diabetes aged ≥60 years. Electronic medical records were used to collect diagnoses and treatment of severe diabetic retinal disease (i.e., diabetic proliferative retinopathy and macular edema) between 1996-1998 and dementia diagnoses for the next ten years (1998-2008). The association between diabetic retinal disease and dementia was evaluated by Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for sociodemographics, as well as diabetes-specific (e.g., diabetes duration, pharmacotherapy, HbA1c, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia) and vascular (e.g., vascular disease, smoking, body mass index) factors. Results: 2,008 (6.8%) patients had severe diabetic retinal disease at baseline and 5,173 (17.3%) participants were diagnosed with dementia during follow-up. Those with diabetic retinal disease had a 42% increased risk of incident dementia (demographics adjusted Hazards Ratio (HR) = 1.42, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.27, 1.58); further adjustment for diabetes-specific (HR1.29; 95%CI 1.14,1.45) and vascular-related disease conditions (HR 1.35; 95%CI 1.21,1.52) attenuated the relation slightly. Conclusion: Diabetic patients with severe diabetic retinal disease have an increased risk of dementia. This may reflect a causal link between microvascular disease and dementia.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 03/2014; 42. DOI:10.3233/JAD-132570 · 3.61 Impact Factor