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Relationship between ocular pulse amplitude and systemic blood pressure measurements

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  • Medicine


PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine whether ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) measured with dynamic contour tonometry (DCT) is related to systemic blood pressure (BP) parameters. METHODS: Blood pressure was measured continuously and simultaneously with OPA in one randomly selected eye in 29 healthy subjects. Systemic parameters of interest were: systolic and diastolic BPs and their difference (BP amplitude), and left ventricle ejection time (LVET; defined as the time between the diastolic trough and the incisural notch in the BP curve). In addition, the axial length (AL) of the eye was measured. Associations between OPA, AL and systemic cardiovascular parameters were analysed in a multivariate regression model. RESULTS: Measurements of OPA ranged from 1.0 mmHg to 4.9 mmHg (mean 2.3 +/- 0.9 mmHg, median 1.9 mmHg). In a univariate analysis with one predictor at a time, means of intraocular pressure (IOP) (p = 0.008), AL (p = 0.046) and LVET (p = 0.037) were significantly correlated with OPA, whereas systolic and diastolic BPs and their amplitude were not. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that mean IOP (p > 0.005), AL (p = 0.01) and LVET (p = 0.002) all independently contributed to OPA. CONCLUSIONS: The OPA readings measured with DCT in healthy subjects were not related to BP levels and amplitude. It seems that the OPA strongly depends on the time-course of the cardiac contraction. Regulating mechanisms in the carotid system as well as scleral rigidity may be responsible for dampening the direct effect of BP variations.

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