Carotid artery intimal medial thickness and carotid artery plaques in hypertensive patients with non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy.Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2017 Oct; 255(10):2037-2043.GA
To assess the correlation of carotid artery intimal medial thickness (C-IMT) and carotid artery plaque score (CPS) of the common carotid artery with non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) in hypertensive patients.
This case-control study recruited 192 subjects. Forty-eight patients had NAION with systemic hypertension, 46 had hypertension without visual complaints, and 98 were normal controls. C-IMT and common carotid arterial plaque were measured by high-resolution vascular ultrasonography.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) in patients with NAION (1.24 ± 0.31) was significantly lower than that of the Hypertensive group (1.39 ± 0.30, P = 0.034). The C-IMT in the affected side of patients with NAION (1.00 ± 0.23) was significantly increased compared to the unaffected side (0.83 ± 0.19, P < 0.001), the Hypertensive group (0.83 ± 0.17, P < 0.001), and the Normal group (0.69 ± 0.16, P < 0.001). The presence of carotid artery plaque was more frequent in the patients with NAION, compared to either the Hypertensive group (P = 0.001) or the Normal group (P < 0.001). By multiple regression analysis, lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (P = 0.009), thicker C-IMT (P = 0.002), CPS Grade = 1 (P = 0.028), and Grade = 2 (P = 0.005) were associated with increased NAION risk, when the NAION group compared with the Hypertensive group (OR > 1.0). Systolic blood pressure (P = 0.001), thicker C-IMT (P < 0.001), CPS Grade = 1 (P = 0.006), Grade = 2 (P = 0.002), and Grade = 3 (P = 0.015) were associated with increased NAION risk, when the NAION group compared with the Normal group (OR > 1.0).
C-IMT and CPS were associated with NAION in hypertensive patients, suggesting that NAION might be associated with carotid artery atherosclerosis. This association may be due to similar pathological changes of the inner vascular walls in the carotid artery and the arteries supplying the optic nerve head.