Retinal vessel narrowing may be implicated in the pathogenesis of glaucoma; however, the association between systemic oxidative stress and retinal vessel diameter remains largely unknown. Looking into this, a recent study found that lower systemic antioxidant capacity was significantly associated with intraocular pressure-independent vascular narrowing in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients.

A team examined the relationship between serum oxidative stress markers and retinal vessel diameters in eyes with POAG and cataract using central retinal artery equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal vein equivalent (CRVE). Their analysis included 66 eyes of 66 patients with POAG (37 men, 29 women; 65.4 years) and 20 eyes of 20 control patients with cataract (7 men, 13 women; 69.4 years).

The researchers reported significantly lower CRAE, CRVE and serum biological antioxidant potential in the POAG group compared with the controls. The BAP showed significant correlation both with CRAE and systolic blood pressure, while neither Diacron reactive oxygen metabolite nor sulfhydryl testing correlated with either. Multivariate analysis indicated that age, best-corrected visual acuity and serum biological antioxidant potential were independent factors for CRAE and CRVE.

“This study provided a novel insight into the pathophysiology of glaucomatous optic neuropathy via oxidative stress-induced vessel narrowing and highlighted the possible clinical impact on systemic antioxidant treatment for patients with glaucoma,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Takayanagi Y, Takai Y, Saidzu S, et al. Association between systemic antioxidant capacity and retinal vessel diameters in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. Life. 2020;10(12):364.