Get access

Retinal vessel diameters and the role of inflammation in cerebrovascular disease

Authors

  • Frank Jan De Jong MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    2. Department of Neurology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    • The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, KNAW, Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. Kamran Ikram MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    2. Department of Neurology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jacqueline C. M. Witteman PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Albert Hofman MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paulus T. V. M. De Jong MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    2. The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen
    3. Department of Ophthalmology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Monique M. B. Breteler MD, PhD

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Retinal vessels may provide a way to study the cerebral microcirculation. In particular, larger retinal venular diameters have been associated with cerebrovascular disease. An inflammatory response may underlie this association. In a population-based cohort study among 5,279 participants aged 55 years or older with graded retinal vessel diameters, we observed that greater serum levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen and greater lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 activity were strongly associated with larger venular diameters. Weaker associations were found with arteriolar diameters. Our findings support the hypothesis that larger retinal venular diameters reflect systemic inflammation and suggest that inflammation is involved in cerebrovascular disease. Ann Neurol 2007

Ancillary