Hypertension-related eye abnormalities and the risk of stroke

Amanda Henderson, Beau B. Bruce, Nancy J. Newman, Valérie Biousse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many studies have shown that hypertensive ocular funduscopic abnormalities are clearly related to stroke, even after controlling for blood pressure and other vascular risk factors. Retinal abnormalities indicative of a breakdown of the blood-retina barrier confer a greater increase in risk for stroke than sclerotic retinal changes. Similar retinal changes also have a positive relationship to stroke mortality. In addition, hypertensive ocular fundus abnormalities are reported to be associated with an increased risk for cognitive impairment, cerebral atrophy, progression of magnetic resonance imaging-defined white matter lesions, and subclinical infarction. Recent advances in fundus photography allow for improved accuracy and consistency in interpretation of funduscopic lesions, and improve the feasibility of screening for these abnormalities in at-risk patient populations. Evaluating the ocular fundus for signs of hypertensive retinopathy, in combination with an assessment of the presence or absence of other known vascular risk factors, may allow clinicians to further individualize a risk profile for stroke to each individual patient, thus permitting more accurate risk stratification and, potentially, guiding treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalReviews in Neurological Diseases
Volume8
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Hypertension
  • Hypertensive retinopathy
  • Ocular fundus
  • Retinal photography
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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