Arteriolar Diameters in Glaucomatous Eyes with Single-Hemifield Damage

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PurposeTo examine the association between retinal arteriolar caliber and lumen, retinal sensitivity (RS), and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in glaucomatous eyes with single-hemifield loss.MethodsWe conducted a prospective, nonrandomized, case-control study of 20 eyes of 20 patients with glaucoma with visual field damage confined to a single hemifield. The control group was composed of 20 eyes of 20 normal subjects. For all the eyes, we performed optical coherence tomography to assess the RNFL and standard automated perimetry to evaluate RS. External and internal arteriolar diameters were assessed in vivo using scanning laser Doppler flowmetry.ResultsThe RNFL was significantly thinner in glaucomatous eyes than in normal eyes (p < 0.001). In glaucomatous eyes, a positive correlation between sectorial RNFL thickness and the corresponding external and internal arteriolar diameters was found (r = 0.43, p = 0.05; r = 0.63, p = 0.003, respectively). The internal arteriolar diameter significantly correlated with RS in the corresponding abnormal hemifield (r = 0.44, p = 0.04). Compared with the normal hemifield, the internal arteriolar diameter, RNFL thickness, and RS were significantly reduced, whereas the external arteriolar diameter was unchanged in the abnormal hemifield.ConclusionsIn glaucomatous eyes with single-hemifield damage, attenuation of retinal vessels was associated with a thinner RNFL and reduced RS. Moreover, a narrower lumen with increased wall-to-lumen ratio was found in the abnormal hemifield, supporting the hypothesis that vessel narrowing is likely secondary to a lower demand for blood flow in the glaucomatous areas of the retina.

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