The findings of a recent cross-sectional study in hypertensive patients suggest a close relationship between ocular perfusion pressure (OPP) values and confirmed primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

A cohort of 1,272 hypertensive patients in the Colombian Glaucoma Study underwent a complete ophthalmological examination. Researchers diagnosed 131 with suspected glaucoma and 65 with confirmed glaucoma. They also found that high values of diastolic blood pressure (>90mm Hg) and low values of OPP (<40mm Hg) were associated with an increased risk of confirmed POAG.

The study did not reveal a relationship between systemic or mean arterial blood pressure and POAG. It attributed the insufficiency to the use of hypertensive medications by all patients in the study, which could decrease the probability of events related to hypotension or hypertension. 

Researchers also suggest that the glaucomatous damage might occur in hypertensive patients due to the ischemia of the optic nerve or the retinal ganglion cells because of the reduction of the perfusion pressure. These changes might induce POAG’s development.

The study concludes that complementary studies are needed to evaluate the influence of the types of antihypertensive drug on ocular blood flow.

Cantor E, Méndez F, Rivera C, et al. Blood pressure, ocular perfusion pressure and open-angle glaucoma in patients with systemic hypertension. Clin Ophthalmol. 2018;12:1511-7. 1.