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Retinal microvascular dysfunction in heart failure


Nägele, Matthias P; Barthelmes, Jens; Ludovici, Valeria; Cantatore, Silviya; von Eckardstein, Arnold; Enseleit, Frank; Lüscher, Thomas F; Ruschitzka, Frank; Sudano, Isabella; Flammer, Andreas J (2018). Retinal microvascular dysfunction in heart failure. European Heart Journal, 39(1):47-56.

Abstract

Aims Retinal vessel analysis (RVA) represents a novel, non-invasive, and reliable method to study the microcirculation in the eye. The goal of this study was to assess the extent of retinal microvascular dysfunction in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) compared to controls and established measures of vascular function. Methods and results In this prospective, single-centre, observational study, 74 patients with compensated CHF (mean age 63.5 ± 11.2 years, 32% female, mean left-ventricular ejection fraction 37 ± 12.8%), 74 patients with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF; 64.1 ± 12.7 years, 34% female), and 74 healthy controls (HC; 57.8 ± 14.2 years, 35% female) were included. The primary endpoint, flicker-induced dilatation of retinal arterioles (FIDart), was significantly reduced in patients with CHF compared to CVRF and HC (mean FIDart 0.9 ±  0.2 vs. 2.3 ± 0.3 and vs. 3.6 ± 0.3%, respectively, both P < 0.001 before and after propensity score-weighted analysis). Similar differences were seen for venular FID. FIDart was less impaired in patients with dilated compared to ischaemic cardiomyopathy. No significant differences were observed for arteriovenous ratio and flow-mediated dilatation. Impaired FIDven was associated with echocardiographically estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure and left atrial volume index. Conclusion Retinal microvascular dilatation in response to flicker light is impaired in CHF. RVA may represent a new and useful method to non-invasively monitor microvascular abnormalities in heart failure in an easy and standardized way without the use of radiation.

Abstract

Aims Retinal vessel analysis (RVA) represents a novel, non-invasive, and reliable method to study the microcirculation in the eye. The goal of this study was to assess the extent of retinal microvascular dysfunction in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) compared to controls and established measures of vascular function. Methods and results In this prospective, single-centre, observational study, 74 patients with compensated CHF (mean age 63.5 ± 11.2 years, 32% female, mean left-ventricular ejection fraction 37 ± 12.8%), 74 patients with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF; 64.1 ± 12.7 years, 34% female), and 74 healthy controls (HC; 57.8 ± 14.2 years, 35% female) were included. The primary endpoint, flicker-induced dilatation of retinal arterioles (FIDart), was significantly reduced in patients with CHF compared to CVRF and HC (mean FIDart 0.9 ±  0.2 vs. 2.3 ± 0.3 and vs. 3.6 ± 0.3%, respectively, both P < 0.001 before and after propensity score-weighted analysis). Similar differences were seen for venular FID. FIDart was less impaired in patients with dilated compared to ischaemic cardiomyopathy. No significant differences were observed for arteriovenous ratio and flow-mediated dilatation. Impaired FIDven was associated with echocardiographically estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure and left atrial volume index. Conclusion Retinal microvascular dilatation in response to flicker light is impaired in CHF. RVA may represent a new and useful method to non-invasively monitor microvascular abnormalities in heart failure in an easy and standardized way without the use of radiation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Clinical Chemistry
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
540 Chemistry
Language:English
Date:1 January 2018
Deposited On:09 Mar 2018 07:38
Last Modified:30 Apr 2018 06:06
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0195-668X
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehx565
PubMed ID:29069316

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