Purpose: To evaluate systemic endothelial function in patients with branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).
Methods: Twenty-seven patients with BRVO (BRVO group, 8 men, 19 women; mean age, 65.4 ± 1.3), 10 patients with systemic hypertension and no other systemic or ocular disease (hypertension group, 6 men, 4 women; mean age, 70.4 ± 2.2), and 10 healthy volunteers (healthy group, 3 men, 7 women; mean age, 63.8 ± 2.1) were enrolled. We excluded patients with diabetes mellitus and current smokers. Using high-resolution ultrasonographic imaging, we evaluated the brachial artery (mm) to evaluate the flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) by measuring the diameter of the brachial artery during reperfusion after arterial occlusion.
Results: There were no significant differences among the three groups in age (p = 0.98), sex (p = 0.21), or the baseline diameter of the brachial artery (p = 0.11). The group-averaged FMD value decreased significantly in the BRVO group (4.6 ± 0.4%) compared to the hypertension group (8.0 ± 0.8%, p < 0.01) and the healthy group (6.9 ± 0.6%, p < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis identified lower FMD as an independent risk factor for BRVO.
Conclusions: The results suggested that BRVO is associated with generalized endothelial dysfunction and that impaired systemic endothelial function may be associated with BRVO.