Autonomic dysfunction in unselected and untreated primary open angle glaucoma patients: A pilot study

Doina Gherghel*, Sarah L. Hosking, Richard A. Armstrong, Ian A. Cunliffe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the presence of silent cardiac ischaemic episodes and the status of autonomic function in consecutive, newly diagnosed and untreated primary open-angle glaucoma patients. Methods: Twenty-four consecutively diagnosed glaucoma patients and 22 age-matched controls were subjected to ambulatory 24-h blood pressure (BP) and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring by using Cardiotens-01 (Meditech Ltd). Based on the ECG recordings, heart rate variability (HRV) frequency domain parameters [low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF) and LF/HF ratio] were calculated and analysed in the two study groups. Results: Glaucoma patients demonstrated higher LF and LF/HF values than normal subjects for both the active period (p = 0.020 and 0.029) and the passive period (p = 0.044 and 0.049 respectively). HRV parameters were similar in patients and controls suffering from silent cardiac ischaemia (p > 0.05); however, glaucoma patients with normal ECG demonstrated higher LF and LF/HF values during the active period of the 24-h measurement period than control subjects characterized by the same cardiac activity (p = 0.010 and 0.021 respectively). Conclusion: Independent of a history and/or clinical signs of cardiovascular disease, glaucoma patients exhibit abnormal autonomic function. © 2007 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-341
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • ambulatory blood pressure measurement
  • ambulatory electrocardiography
  • autonomic dysfunction
  • glaucoma
  • heart rate variablity
  • silent cardiac ischaemia


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