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Marissa K. Shoji, Clara C. Cousins, Chhavi Saini, Rafaella Nascimento e Silva, Mengyu Wang, Stacey C. Brauner, Scott H. Greenstein, Louis R. Pasquale, Lucy Q. Shen; Paired Optic Nerve Microvasculature and Nailfold Capillary Measurements in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(7):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.7.13.
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To assess microvascular beds in the optic nerve head (ONH), peripapillary tissue, and the nailfold in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) versus controls.
Patients with POAG (n = 22) and controls (n = 12) underwent swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography of ophthalmic microvasculature and nailfold video capillaroscopy of the hand. The main outcomes were vessel density (VD) and blood flow of the ONH, the peripapillary and the nailfold microvasculatures.
Patients with POAG were younger than controls (63.5 ± 9.4 vs. 69.9 ± 6.5 years, P = 0.03). Deep ONH VD and blood flow were lower in patients with POAG than controls (39.1% ± 3.5% vs. 43.8% ± 5.7%; 37.8% ± 5.3% vs. 46.0% ± 7.8%, respectively, P < 0.02 for both); similar results were observed with peripapillary VD (37.9 ± 2.6%, 43.4 ± 7.6%, respectively, P = 0.03). Nailfold capillary density and blood flow were lower in patients with POAG than controls (8.8 ± 1.0 vs. 9.8 ± 0.9 capillaries/mm; 19.9 ± 9.4 vs. 33.7 ± 9.8 pL/s, respectively; P < 0.009 for both). After adjusting for age and gender, deep ONH VD and blood flow, peripapillary VD, and nailfold capillary blood flow were lower in POAG than controls (β = −0.04, −0.07, −0.05, −13.19, respectively, P ≤ 0.046 for all). Among all participants, there were positive correlations between deep ONH and nailfold capillary blood flow (Pearson's correlation coefficient r = 0.42, P = 0.02), peripapillary and nailfold capillary density (r = 0.43, P = 0.03), and peripapillary and nailfold capillary blood flow (r = 0.49, P = 0.01).
Patients with POAG demonstrated morphologic and hemodynamic alterations in both ophthalmic and nailfold microvascular beds compared to controls.
The concomitant abnormalities in nailfold capillaries and relevant ocular vascular beds in POAG suggest that the microvasculature may be a target for POAG treatment.
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