Changes in retinal microvascular caliber precede the clinical onset of preeclampsia

Samantha J. Lupton, Christine L. Chiu, Lauren A B Hodgson, Jane Tooher, Robert Ogle, Tien Yin Wong, Annemarie Hennessy, Joanne M. Lind*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. The degree of maternal cardiovascular dysfunction that precedes the onset of preeclampsia is largely unknown. This prospective cohort study aimed to characterize differences in vivo in retinal microvascular caliber and blood pressure throughout pregnancy in relation to preeclampsia development. Women were recruited from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia, of which 92 women were included in the study. Retinal images and blood pressures were collected at 13, 19, 29, and 38 weeks of gestation. Retinal vessels were analyzed as the central retinal arteriolar equivalent corrected for mean arterial blood pressure and the central retinal venular equivalent corrected for mean arterial blood pressure, using generalized linear models adjusted for age and body mass index. The preeclampsia group were significantly older (P=0.002) and had a significantly higher mean body mass index (P=0.005). The central retinal arteriolar equivalent corrected for mean arterial blood pressure was significantly reduced at 13 (P=0.03), 19 (P=0.007), and 38 (P=0.03) weeks of gestation in the preeclampsia group. The central retinal venular equivalent corrected for mean arterial blood pressure was also significantly lower at 13 (P=0.04) and 19 (P=0.001) weeks of gestation in the women who progressed to preeclampsia. This study directly documents increased peripheral resistance in vivo, observed as the combination of constricted retinal arterioles or venules and elevated blood pressure, in women who later developed preeclampsia. This difference preceded the clinical signs of preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-904
Number of pages6
JournalHypertension
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • imaging diagnostic
  • microcirculation
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • retina

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    Lupton, S. J., Chiu, C. L., Hodgson, L. A. B., Tooher, J., Ogle, R., Wong, T. Y., ... Lind, J. M. (2013). Changes in retinal microvascular caliber precede the clinical onset of preeclampsia. Hypertension, 62(5), 899-904. https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01890