Retinal microvascular diameters: normative data and their use in clinical hypertension

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Microvascular dysfunction has been recognized as a crucial pathway in the (early) development and progression of cardiovascular and metabolic disease [1–6]. In addition, microvascular dysfunction has been shown to be associated with increased (cardiovascular) mortality [7]. However, in-vivo assessment of microvascular structure and function is technically demanding which limits its broad applicability in observational studies and clinical trials. One exception in this respect is imaging of the retinal microcirculation. Since the early 1920s, fundus photography has played a prominent role in diagnosing eye diseases, and because of the widespread availability of this technique it has been applied in many mechanistic and epidemiological studies.

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