Impact of hypertension on retinal capillary microvasculature using optical coherence tomographic angiography

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Reduction in capillary density or rarefaction is a hallmark of essential hypertension. We measured the retinal capillary density using noninvasive optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCT-A) in adults with treated systemic hypertension and determined possible correlations with ambulatory blood pressure (BP) and renal parameters.


This observational cross-sectional study consisted of 153 normal eyes from 77 nondiabetic hypertensive adults [mean (SD) age, 58 (9) years; 49% women; 23% poorly controlled BP]. Data on 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring, serum creatinine, and urine microalbumin/creatinine ratio (MCR) were collected. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated based on CKD-EPI Creatinine Equation. Retinal capillary density measured with the OCT-A (AngioVue) at superficial (SVP) and deep vascular plexuses (DVP). Linear regression was used to investigate the association of risk factors with capillary density.


Retinal capillary density (percentage) at DVP was reduced in patients with poorly controlled BP (SBP = 148 ± 8 mmHg; 27.2 ± 13.0) compared with those with well controlled BP (SBP = 125 ± 9 mmHg; 34.7 ± 11.3). In the multivariable analysis, poorly controlled BP [β = −6.49, 95% confidence interval (CI), −12.39 to −0.59], higher SBP (β = −0.23, 95% CI −0.44 to −0.02) and lower eGFR (β = 6.42, 95% CI 1.25–11.60) were associated with sparser retinal capillary density. Systemic factors were not associated with capillary density at SVP (all P > 0.05).


In adults with treated systemic hypertension, retinal capillary density reduced with higher BP and poorer eGFR. These findings highlight the potential role of OCT-A to study early microvascular changes because of systemic hypertension.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles