Purpose: To compare flicker-induced retinal vessel diameter changes in varying age groups with low cardiovascular risk.
Methods: Retinal vascular reactivity to flicker light was assessed by means of dynamic retinal vessel analysis in 57 participants aged 19-30 years, 75 participants aged 31-50 years and 62 participants aged 51-70 years participants. Other assessments included carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT), augmentation index (AIx), blood pressure profiles, blood lipid metabolism markers and Framingham risk scores (FRS).
Results: Retinal arterial dilation amplitude (DA) and postflicker percentage constriction (MC%) were significantly decreased in the oldest group compared to the middle-aged (p = 0.028; p = 0.021) and youngest group (p = 0.003; p = 0.026). The arterial constriction slope (Slope<inf>AC</inf>) was also decreased in the oldest group compared to the youngest group (p = 0.027). On the venous side, MC% was decreased in the middle-aged and oldest groups in comparison with the youngest group (p = 0.015; p = 0.010, respectively). Additionally, men exhibited increased arterial DA (p = 0.007), and percentage dilation (MD%, p < 0.001) in comparison with women, but only in the youngest age group. Both AIx and c-IMT scores increased with age (both p < 0.001); however, no correlations were found between the observed differences in the measured retinal vascular function and systemic parameters.
Conclusion: In individuals with low cardiovascular risk, there are age-related differences in flicker-induced retinal vessel diameter changes throughout the entire functional response curve for arteries and veins. Gender differences mainly affect the arterial dilatory phase and are only present in young individuals.
|Early online date||6 Jul 2015|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2016|
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Seshadri, S., Ekart, A., & Gherghel, D. (2016). Ageing effect on flicker-induced diameter changes in retinal microvessels of healthy individuals. Acta ophthalmologica, 94(1), e35-e42, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aos.12786. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- cardiovascular risk
- dynamic retinal vessel analysis
- vascular function