An altered haemodynamic profile for various ocular posterior segment capillary beds has been documented in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG may also involve abnormal non-ocular blood flow, and the nailfold capillaries, which are not affected by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), are readily assessable.Methods
We measured resting nailfold capillary blood flow in 67 POAG and 63 control subjects using video capillaroscopy. Masked readers tracked blood column voids between consecutive, registered image sequence frames, measured vessel diameter and calculated blood flow. We used multiple logistic regression to investigate the relation between nailfold capillary blood flow and POAG. In secondary analyses, we stratified cases by maximum IOP and concurrent topical beta-blocker use.Results
Mean (±SD) blood flow in picolitres per second was 26.8±17.6 for POAG cases and 50.1±24.2 for controls (p<0.0001). After adjustment for demographic and clinical factors including blood pressure and pulse, every picolitre per second increase in resting nailfold blood flow was associated with a 6% (95% CI 0.92 to 0.96) reduced odds of POAG (p<0.0001). Similar relations between nailfold capillary blood flow and POAG were found for cases stratified by maximum known IOP and for cases stratified by concurrent topical beta-blocker use.Conclusion
Reduced resting nailfold capillary blood flow is present in POAG independent of covariates such as blood pressure, pulse and IOP.