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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/17834

Title: Fundus Photography as a Convenient Tool to Study Microvascular Responses to Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Epidemiological Studies
Authors: DE BOEVER, Patrick
Thijs, L.
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The microcirculation consists of blood vessels with diameters less than 150 µm. It makes up a large part of the circulatory system and plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health. The retina is a tissue that lines the interior of the eye and it is the only tissue that allows for a non-invasive analysis of the microvasculature. Nowadays, high-quality fundus images can be acquired using digital cameras. Retinal images can be collected in 5 min or less, even without dilatation of the pupils. This unobtrusive and fast procedure for visualizing the microcirculation is attractive to apply in epidemiological studies and to monitor cardiovascular health from early age up to old age. Systemic diseases that affect the circulation can result in progressive morphological changes in the retinal vasculature. For example, changes in the vessel calibers of retinal arteries and veins have been associated with hypertension, atherosclerosis, and increased risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. The vessel widths are derived using image analysis software and the width of the six largest arteries and veins are summarized in the Central Retinal Arteriolar Equivalent (CRAE) and the Central Retinal Venular Equivalent (CRVE). The latter features have been shown useful to study the impact of modifiable lifestyle and environmental cardiovascular disease risk factors. The procedures to acquire fundus images and the analysis steps to obtain CRAE and CRVE are described. Coefficients of variation of repeated measures of CRAE and CRVE are less than 2% and within-rater reliability is very high. Using a panel study, the rapid response of the retinal vessel calibers to short-term changes in particulate air pollution, a known risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, is reported. In conclusion, retinal imaging is proposed as a convenient and instrumental tool for epidemiological studies to study microvascular responses to cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Notes: patrick.deboever@vito.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/17834
Link to publication: http://www.jove.com/video/51904/fundus-photography-as-convenient-tool-to-study-microvascular
DOI: 10.3791/51904
ISI #: 000349303100032
ISSN: 1940-087X
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2016
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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