Retinal microvasculature and vasoreactivity changes in hypertension using optical coherence tomography-angiography


Zeng R, Garg I, Bannai D, Kasetty M, Katz R, Park J, Lizano P, Miller JB. Retinal microvasculature and vasoreactivity changes in hypertension using optical coherence tomography-angiography. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2022;

Date Published:

2022 Jun 09


PURPOSE: To evaluate the retinal vasculature and vasoreactivity of patients with hypertension (HTN) using spectral domain optical coherence tomography angiography (SD-OCTA). METHODS: Patients with and without a diagnosis of HTN were included in this cross-sectional observational study. All eyes were imaged with SD-OCTA using 3 mm × 3 mm and 6 mm × 6 mm centered on both the fovea and optic disk. A second 6 mm × 6 mm scan was taken after a 30 s breath-hold. Vessel density (VD), vessel skeletonized density (VSD), and fractal dimension (FD) were calculated using customized MATLAB scripts. Vessel diameter index (VDI) was obtained by taking the ratio of VD to VSD. Vasoreactivity was measured by subtracting the VD or VSD before and after breath-hold (∆VD, ∆VSD). RESULTS: Twenty-three eyes with HTN (17 patients) and 17 control eyes (15 patients) were included. In the 6 mm × 6 mm angiogram centered on fovea, the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) VD (ß =  - 0.029, p = 0.012), VSD (ß =  - 0.004, p = 0.043) and the choriocapillaris VD (ß =  - 0.021, p = 0.030) were significantly decreased in HTN compared to control eyes. Similarly, FD was decreased in both the SCP (ß =  - 0.012, p = 0.013) and choriocapillaris (ß =  - 0.009, p = 0.030). In the 3 mm × 3 mm angiogram centered on optic disk, SCP VDI (ß =  - 0.364, p = 0.034) was decreased. ∆VD and ∆VSD were both reduced in the DCP (ß =  - 0.034, p = 0.032; ß =  - 0.013, p = 0.043) and ∆VSD was elevated in the choriocapillaris of HTN eyes (ß = 0.004, p = 0.032). CONCLUSIONS: The study used SD-OCTA to show significant differences in the retinal vasculature of hypertensive patients. It was also the first to demonstrate the potential of OCT-A to investigate retinal vascular reactivity in patients with HTN.

Last updated on 07/04/2022