Increase of carotid artery stiffness and decrease of baroreflex sensitivity in exfoliation syndrome and glaucoma

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Abstract

Aim:

To investigate the distensibility of the common carotid artery (CCA), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and its relation to plasma homocysteine concentration in exfoliation syndrome or exfoliation glaucoma (XFS/XFG).

Methods:

Homocysteine concentrations were measured in 30 XFS/XFG patients and 18 age matched controls. In 21 patients and 17 controls the end diastolic diameter of the CCA and pulsatile distension were measured and BRS was calculated.

Results:

There was no significant difference between the groups in sex distribution, age, heart rate, blood pressure, systemic diseases, or medication. In XFS/XFG patients homocysteine concentration was significantly elevated (unpaired t test, p = 0.023), and CCA stiffness was higher (p<0.05), while strain, cross sectional compliance coefficient, distensibility, and BRS were significantly reduced compared to the controls (Mann-Whitney U test, p≤0.013 for each parameter). In XFS/XFG patients a positive correlation was found between age and plasma homocysteine level (Pearson’s correlation, r  = 0.490, p = 0.007), and a negative correlation between age and BRS (Kendall’s correlation r  = −0.374, p = 0.021), as well as between homocysteine concentration and BRS (Kendall’s correlation r  = −0.377, p = 0.024). No correlation was seen between these variables in the control group.

Conclusions:

These results suggest a pathological large artery function as well as altered parasympathetic vascular control in XFS/XFG which increases with age and with higher homocysteine concentration.

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