Retinal microvascular structure: Determinants and potential utility of novel imaging measurements
The retinal microvasculature is a 'window to the systemic circulation. Advancement of computer-assisted techniques to assess vascular structural characteristics from retinal images offers a unique opportunity in circulation research via a direct view of the human microcirculatory system in vivo. Recent studies demonstrate that retinal vascular caliber changes are predictive of development of hypertension, cardiovascular events and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. More importantly, a number of major cardiovascular (e.g., elevated blood pressure, diabetes, lipid levels and obesity) and lifestyle-related (e.g., smoking and alcohol consumption) risk factors are found to be associated with the variations of small vessel caliber. Retinal vascular caliber may therefore represent sub-clinical alterations proceeding to clinical stages of cardiovascular events. Further studies of other parameters of retinal microvascular structure (e.g., tortuosity and branching angle) to determine their associations with genetic factors and responses to treatment strategies may provide clinical applications of these measures on the changes of retinal microvasculature. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.
Sasongko, MB; Wong, TY; Wang, JJ
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)