Peripheral Microvascular Abnormalities Associated with Open-Angle Glaucoma

Elise V. Taniguchi, Izabela N.F. Almeida, Carolina P.B. Gracitelli, Cecília Agapito, Claudio Zett, Letícia Sant'Ana, Cristiane Kayser, Tiago S. Prata, Augusto Paranhos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Purpose: To investigate peripheral microvascular abnormalities associated with patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG). Design: This was a cross-sectional study. Participants: Patients with OAG and controls. Methods: All subjects underwent detailed ophthalmic evaluation, including Humphrey visual field (HVF) tests and swept source OCT. To evaluate peripheral microvascular abnormalities, nailfold capillaroscopy (NFC) and laser Doppler imaging (LDI) were performed. The presence of microhemorrhages, tortuous capillaries, dilated capillaries, avascular areas, and the capillary density, among other characteristics, were recorded using NFC; fingertip blood flow (FBF) was measured using LDI at different time points, before and 1, 10, and 20 minutes after exposure to a cold stimulus. In addition, venous blood samples were collected to measure serum endothelin-1 (ET-1) concentrations as well as serum autoantibodies. Main Outcome Measures: Presence of microhemorrhages, tortuous capillaries, and dilated capillaries; FBF; ET-1; and autoantibodies. Results: Sixty-eight subjects (43 patients with OAG and 25 controls) were enrolled in the study. Microhemorrhages were found in the nail bed of 65.1% of the patients with OAG compared with 25.0% of the controls (P = 0.003). There was a significant difference in the mean FBF at the baseline in patients with OAG versus controls (293.6 ± 100.2 vs 388.8 ± 52.0 perfusion units, respectively, P < 0.001), together with a significant decrease in the mean FBF 10 and 20 minutes after cold stimulus in patients with OAG in comparison to controls (P < 0.001 for all comparisons). There was a positive correlation between mean baseline FBF and HVF mean deviation (r = 0.27, P = 0.03) and between mean baseline FBF and average retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (r = 0.44, P = 0.001). Neither the analysis of ET-1 concentrations (P = 0.71) nor the autoantibodies measurements (P > 0.05, for all) showed any difference between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Significant peripheral microvascular abnormalities were found in patients with OAG compared to controls, suggesting that microvascular changes might play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. In addition, part of these peripheral microvascular abnormalities seems to be correlated with both functional and structural glaucomatous damage. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)291-299
    Number of pages9
    JournalOphthalmology Glaucoma
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 May 2023


    • Autoantibodies
    • Endothelin-1
    • Laser Doppler imaging
    • Microvascular findings
    • Nailfold capillaroscopy
    • Open-angle glaucoma


    Dive into the research topics of 'Peripheral Microvascular Abnormalities Associated with Open-Angle Glaucoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this