Purpose: To investigate the relationship between retinal microvascular reactivity, circulatory markers for CVD risk and systemic antioxidative defence capacity in healthy middle-aged individuals with low to moderate risk of CVD.
Methods: Retinal vascular reactivity to flickering light was assessed in 102 healthy participants (46-60 years) by means of dynamic retinal vessel analysis (DVA). Other vascular assessments included carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) and blood pressure (BP) measurements. Total cholesterol (CHOL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG) and blood glutathione levels in its reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) forms were also determined for each participant, along with Framingham risk scores (FRS).
Results: Retinal arterial baseline diameter fluctuation (BDF) was independently, significantly and negatively influenced by LDL-C levels (β = -0.53, p = 0.027). Moreover, the arterial dilation slope (SlopeAD) was independently, significantly and positively associated with redox index (GSH: GSSG ratio, β = 0.28, p = 0.016), while the arterial constriction slope (SlopeAC) was significantly and negatively influenced by blood GSH levels (β = -0.20, p = 0.042), and positively associated with FRS (β = 0.25, p = 0.009). Venous BDF and dilation amplitude (DA) were also negatively influenced by plasma LDL-C levels (β = -0.83, p = 0.013; and β = -0.22, p = 0.028, respectively).
Conclusions: In otherwise healthy individuals with low to moderate cardiovascular risk, retinal microvascular dilation and constriction responses to stress levels are influenced by systemic antioxidant capacity, and circulating markers for cardiovascular risk.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Seshadri, S., Mroczkowska, S., Qin, L., Patel, S., Ekárt, A., & Gherghel, D. (2015). Systemic circulatory influences on retinal microvascular function in middle-age individuals with low to moderate cardiovascular risk. Acta ophthalmologica, 93(4), e266-e274, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aos.12594. 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
- oxidative stress
- vascular function