Retinal microvascular signs may provide clues to the underlying vasculopathy in patients with deep intracerebral hemorrhage.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Deep intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and lacunar infarcts are the result of small vessel disease, whereas nonlacunar infarcts are often caused by large artery atherosclerosis or cardiac embolism. We hypothesized that patients with deep ICH and lacunar infarcts have similar retinal microvascular signs and that these differ from those seen in patients with nonlacunar infarcts. METHODS: We studied patients with acute stroke and classified their stroke as deep ICH, lacunar infarction, or nonlacunar infarction. In a masked fashion we assessed retinal photographs for quantitative and qualitative evidence of microvascular damage. RESULTS: We recruited 630 patients (51 had deep ICH, 93 had lacunar infarction, and 486 had nonlacunar infarction). Patients with deep ICH were more likely than those with nonlacunar infarcts to have severe focal narrowing of the retinal arterioles (OR, 3.7), severe arteriovenous nicking (OR, 2.6), and quantitatively narrower retinal arterioles and wider retinal venules. Retinal microvascular signs were similar in patients with deep ICH and lacunar infarction. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with deep ICH and lacunar infarcts are more likely than patients with nonlacunar infarcts to have signs indicating hypertensive damage in the retinal arteriolar wall.
Baker, ML; Hand, PJ; Liew, G; Wong, TY; Rochtchina, E; Mitchell, P; Lindley, RI; Hankey, GJ; Wang, JJ; Multi-Centre Retinal Stroke Study Group,
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