To determine the associations of geometric measurements (tortuosity, branching angle, and fractal dimension) of retinal vessels with glaucoma.
Population-based, cross-sectional study.
Persons aged 40 to 80 years who participated in the Singapore Malay Eye Study (n=3280; 78.7% response rate).
Quantitative retinal vascular parameters (tortuosity, branching angle, and fractal dimension) were measured from digital retinal fundus photographs using a computer-assisted program following a standardized grading protocol. Glaucoma was diagnosed according to the International Society of Geographic and Epidemiological Ophthalmology classification system.
The associations among retinal vascular parameters with glaucoma, the main glaucoma subtype primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), and ocular hypertension (OHT).
A total of 123 persons (4.4% of the 2789 participants) had glaucoma in the final analysis, 87 (70.7%) of whom were diagnosed with POAG. After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, axial length, and intraocular pressure (IOP), decreased retinal arteriolar tortuosity (odds ratio [OR], 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38-2.18, comparing lowest vs. highest quartiles), decreased retinal venular tortuosity (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.29-1.97), and narrower retinal venular branching angle (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.00-1.48) were associated with glaucoma. Similar associations were found between these retinal vascular parameters and POAG. Decreased retinal vascular fractal dimension was associated with OHT (OR 1.37; 95% CI, 1.04-1.82).
Certain features of retinal vascular geometry are associated with glaucomatous optic neuropathy independently of vascular risk factors and IOP.
The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.