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Retinal Vasculometry Associations With Glaucoma: Findings From the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer-Norfolk Eye Study.

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Rudnicka, Alicja R 
Owen, Christopher G 
Welikala, Roshan A 
Barman, Sarah A 
Whincup, Peter H 


PURPOSE: To examine retinal vasculometry associations with different glaucomas in older British people. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: A total of 8,623 European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk Eye study participants were examined, who underwent retinal imaging, ocular biometry assessment, and clinical ascertainment of ocular hypertensive or glaucoma status (including glaucoma suspect [GS], high-tension open-angle glaucoma [HTG], and normal-tension glaucoma [NTG]). Automated measures of arteriolar and venular tortuosity, area, and width from retinal images were obtained. MainOutcomeMeasures: Associations between glaucoma and retinal vasculometry outcomes were analyzed using multilevel linear regression, adjusted for age, sex, height, axial length, intraocular and systemic blood pressure, and within-person clustering, to provide absolute differences in width and area, and percentage differences in vessel tortuosity. Presence or absence of within-person-between-eye differences in retinal vasculometry by diagnoses were examined. RESULTS: A total of 565,593 vessel segments from 5,947 participants (mean age 67.6 years, SD 7.6 years, 57% women) were included; numbers with HTG, NTG, and GS in at least 1 eye were 87, 82, and 439, respectively. Thinner arterioles (-3.2 μm; 95% confidence interval [CI] -4.4 μm, -1.9 μm) and venules (-2.7 μm; 95% CI -4.9 μm, -0.5 μm) were associated with HTG. Reduced venular area was associated with HTG (-0.2 mm2; 95% CI -0.3 mm2, -0.1 mm2) and NTG (-0.2 mm2; 95% CI -0.3 mm2, -0.0 mm2). Less tortuous retinal arterioles and venules were associated with all glaucomas, but only significantly for GS (-3.9%; 95% CI -7.7%, -0.1% and -4.8%; 95% CI -7.4%, -2.1%, respectively). There was no evidence of within-person-between-eye differences in retinal vasculometry associations by diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal vessel width associations with glaucoma and novel associations with vessel area and tortuosity, together with no evidence of within-person-between-eye differences in retinal vasculometry, suggest a vascular cause of glaucoma.



Aged, Biometry, Cross-Sectional Studies, Europe, Female, Glaucoma, Open-Angle, Humans, Intraocular Pressure, Male, Prospective Studies, Retinal Vessels, Tomography, Optical Coherence

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Am J Ophthalmol

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Elsevier BV


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Medical Research Council (G0401527)
Medical Research Council (G1000143)
Cancer Research Uk (None)
Medical Research Council (MR/N003284/1)
Medical Research Council (G0500300)
Medical Research Council (G0401527/1)