Background Hypercoagulability is a leading factor in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Retinal vessel responses to flickering light are an important tool for assessing ocular function. We hypothesised a significant relationship between systemic markers of haemostasis and retinal vessel function. Methods Intra-ocular pressure and retinal microcirculation function were measured in 116 patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease using unstimulated and stimulated arterial and venous retinal vessel responses to flickering light. Haemostasis was evaluated by platelet microparticles, soluble P selectin, and five functional markers of fibrin clot formation and lysis, hyperglycaemia by HbA1c. Results Intra-ocular pressure was linked to the rates of clot formation (p = 0.006) and clot dissolution (p = 0.013) whilst central retinal vein equivalent was linked to HbA1c (p = 0.017). In the first of three flickering light cycles only, arterial baseline diameter fluctuation was linked to the lag time to clot formation (p = 0.017), whilst maximum venous dilatation was linked to HbA1c (p = 0.001) and clot density (p = 0.011). HbA1c was linked to venous dilatation amplitude (p = 0.003). There were no significant links between any ocular index and any platelet index. Conclusions In addition to glycaemia, several haemostasis measures, but no measures of platelet activity, are linked to ocular and retinal blood vessel indices in patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease. These associations may have pathophysiological significance.
- retinal vessels