Retinal structural changes in systemic arterial hypertension: an OCT study



To assess retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell complex (GCC), and macular thickness changes in young adults with systemic arterial hypertension.


This study included 80 young patients (age 23.8 ± 2.8 years) with systemic hypertension (sHT) without any known systemic or ocular disease and 80 age-matched (23.5 ± 2.1 years) healthy controls. Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, macular thickness, and GCC thickness were measured with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.


Mean disease duration was 3.45 ± 1.48 years (range 2-10). Differences in intraocular pressure, body mass index, axial length, and spherical equivalent between the groups were insignificant (p>0.05). The differences in RNFL thickness did not differ between the groups. Patients with sHT had significantly lower central macular thickness (p = 0.037), inner superior macular thickness (p = 0.045), and outer temporal superior and outer temporal inferior GCC (p<0.001 for both). The RNFL thickness did not differ significantly in all quadrants between the groups (p>0.05). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly correlated with inner temporal superior and inner temporal inferior GCC thickness in a negative manner (p<0.05 for all).


Ganglion cell complex thickness decrease is possibly a better retinal marker for hypertensive changes with respect to RNFL and macular thickness.

Eur J Ophthalmol 2016; 26(5): 436 - 441




Fahrettin Akay, Fatih C. Gündoğan, Umit Yolcu, Sami Toyran, Elif Tunç, Salih Uzun

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

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  •  Department of Ophthalmology, Izmir Military Hospital, Izmir - Turkey
  •  Department of Ophthalmology, GATA Medical School, Ankara - Turkey
  •  Department of Ophthalmology, Ankara Mevki Military Hospital, Ankara - Turkey
  •  Department of Cardiology, Izmir Military Hospital, Izmir - Turkey
  •  Department of Ophthalmology, Etimesgut Military Hospital, Ankara - Turkey

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