PURPOSE: It remains unclear whether reduced retinal blood flow and smaller arterioles, reported to exist in patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG), are a cause or a consequence of ganglion cell loss. We examined whether baseline retinal vessel diameters were related to incident (i)OAG or incident optic disc changes in a population-based sample. METHODS: In the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study, baseline diameters of retinal arterioles and venules (1990-1993) were measured in digitized images of 3469 persons (aged 55 years and older) at risk for OAG. The follow-up examinations took place from 1997 to 1999. iOAG was based on the presence of incident glaucomatous visual field loss and/or incident glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Changes in neuroretinal rim, cup area, or vertical cup-to-disc ratio were calculated with a semiautomated image analyzer in 2782 persons. RESULTS: After a mean follow-up time of 6.5 years, 74 participants had iOAG. At baseline, the mean arteriolar diameter was 147.5 +/- 14.2 microm (SD) and the venular, 222.9 +/- 20.0 microm. Neither arteriolar diameters (odds ratio [OR] per SD decrease: 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.66-1.03) nor venular ones (OR per SD increase: 1.20; 95% CI: 0.95-1.53) were significantly related to iOAG. Baseline retinal vessel diameters did not predict changes in the optic disc. Additional adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors did not alter these results. CONCLUSIONS: The data show that baseline retinal vessel diameters did not influence the risk of iOAG or incident optic disc changes. These data provide no evidence for a retinal vascular role in the pathogenesis of OAG.

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doi.org/10.1167/iovs.04-1459, hdl.handle.net/1765/13735
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Ikram, K., de Voogd, S., Wolfs, R., Hofman, A., Breteler, M., Hubbart, L., & de Jong, P. (2005). Retinal vessel diameters and incident open-angle glaucoma and optic disc changes: the Rotterdam study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 46(4), 1182–1187. doi:10.1167/iovs.04-1459