Pathophysiology of hypertensive retinopathy

Ophthalmology. 1982 Oct;89(10):1132-45. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(82)34663-1.


The effects of systemic hypertension on the posterior segment of the eye are discussed under the headings of hypertensive choroidopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, and hypertensive optic disc edema. The sympathetic nervous control and autoregulatory mechanisms of the retinal and choroidal vasculatures are briefly reviewed. In hypertensive choroidopathy focal occlusion of choriocapillaris leads to necrosis of retinal pigment epithelium (Elschnig spots). Hypertensive retinopathy is described in vasoconstrictive, exudative, and sclerotic phases, followed by complications of the sclerotic phase. Hypertensive optic disc edema is influenced by the blood supply and extracellular tissue fluid pressure of the optic nervehead. In baboons with hypertensive disc edema, accumulation of axoplasmic components is observed in the optic nervehead.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choroid / blood supply
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Humans
  • Ocular Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Papilledema / etiology
  • Papio
  • Retina / innervation
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Artery / pathology
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Vein / pathology
  • Uveal Diseases / physiopathology*