Blood pressure and retinal microvascular characteristics during pregnancy: Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Changes in maternal blood pressure during pregnancy are associated with poor maternal and neonatal outcomes. We investigated whether maternal blood pressure during midpregnancy has an impact on the retinal microcirculation among pregnant Asian women. A total of 665 pregnant women aged 18 to 46 years were recruited from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes Study. Blood pressure and retinal vascular parameters were both measured at 26 weeks' gestation following a standardized protocol. Blood pressure was measured by a digital automatic blood pressure monitor (Omron HEM 705 LP). Quantitative retinal vascular parameters were assessed by a semiautomated computer-based program (Singapore I Vessel Assessment, version 3.0). In multiple linear regression models, every 10-mm Hg increase in mean arterial blood pressure was associated with a 1.9-μm (P<0.001) reduction in retinal arteriolar caliber, a 0.9° (P=0.05) reduction in retinal arteriolar branching angle, and a 0.07 (P<0.01) reduction in retinal arteriolar fractal dimension, respectively. Patients classified into a high-risk group in developing preeclampsia (mean arterial blood pressure ≥ 90 mm Hg) were twice as likely (odds ratio 2.1 [95% CI, 1.0-4.4]) to have generalized retinal arteriolar narrowing compared with those classified into a low-risk group (mean arterial blood pressure <90 mm Hg). Retinal venular caliber and vascular tortuosity were not associated with blood pressure measures. Elevated blood pressure is associated with a range of retinal arteriolar changes in pregnant women, providing evidence for an impact of blood pressure on the microcirculation during pregnancy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, L-J; Cheung, CY-L; Ikram, MK; Gluckman, P; Meaney, MJ; Chong, Y-S; Kwek, K; Wong, T-Y; Saw, S-M

Published Date

  • July 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 60 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 223 - 230

PubMed ID

  • 22615113

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4563

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.195404


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States