Retinal venular calibre is increased in patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease: a case-control study.
AIM: To examine retinal vessel calibre in autoimmune rheumatic disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease were recruited from a Rheumatology clinic. Retinal vessel calibre was measured from fundus photographs, and summarised as the central retinal artery and vein equivalents (CRAE and CRVE) using a semi-automated computer-assisted method. RESULTS: The 124 patients studied had rheumatoid arthritis (n = 76, 61%), systemic lupus erythematosus (n = 17, 14%), psoriatic arthritis (n = 11, 9%) or another rheumatological disease (n = 20, 16%). Retinal venular calibre was increased in patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease (+11.6 µm, 95% Confidence interval [CI] 3.8 - 19.3, p = 0.01) compared with other hospital patients, after adjusting for baseline differences. This increase was also present in the subgroup with rheumatoid arthritis (p = 0.01). Patients with a rheumatic disease and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels had wider retinal venules than those with a lower CRP (mean CRVE: 247.8 ± 28.0 versus 216.6 ± 25.3, p < 0.01), and than other hospital patients with increased CRP (mean CRVE: 247.8 ± 28.0 versus 216.4 ± 25.9, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with an autoimmune rheumatic disease have wider retinal venules than other hospital patients. This increase in calibre may be due to the underlying inflammatory activity.
Okada, M; Wong, TY; Kawasaki, R; Baharuddin, NB; Colville, D; Buchanan, R; Savige, J
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