University of Oulu

Geneid, M., Kettunen, J., Nuuttila, I., Lintonen, T., Uusitalo, J.‐J., Saarela, V. and Liinamaa, M.J. (2019), Relationship between retinal vessel diameter with both retinal nerve fibre layer thickness and optic nerve head parameters in middle‐aged Caucasians: the Northern Finland Birth Cohort Eye study. Acta Ophthalmol, 97: 532-538. doi:10.1111/aos.13992

Relationship between retinal vessel diameter with both retinal nerve fibre layer thickness and optic nerve head parameters in middle‐aged Caucasians : the Northern Finland Birth Cohort Eye study

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Author: Geneid, Mohamed1,2,3,4; Kettunen, Joonas1,2,3; Nuuttila, Iida1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Department of Ophthalmology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2MRC Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Ophthalmology, P€aij€at-H€ame Central Hospital, Lahti, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-05


Purpose: To study the normal relationship between retinal vessel diameter (RVD) with retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness and optic nerve head (ONH) parameters in a cohort of middle‐aged Caucasians.

Methods: We investigated 3070 individuals (6140 eyes). Central retinal arteriolar equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal venular equivalent (CRVE) were measured in the right eye using a semi‐automated computer‐assisted program. Retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness and ONH parameters were assessed with Heidelberg retinal tomography (HRT).

Results: Data from 2217 persons were analysed including RNFL, CRAE, CRVE, sex, body mass index, mean arterial pressure, diabetes status, smoking status, optic disc area, rim area, spherical refraction and intraocular pressure. A larger RVD was associated with a thicker mean global RNFL thickness especially in global and inferior segments of the retina and with larger optic discs. Each 10 μm increase in the retinal arteriolar calibre was associated with a 5.58 μm increase in mean global RNFL thickness; the corresponding value for a 10 μm increase in venular calibre was 3.79 μm (p < 0.001 for both). Retinal venular calibre displayed consistent associations with RNFL thickness in both genders (p < 0.001 for all), whereas the association of arteriolar calibre and RNFL was more prominent in men (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: We found strong associations between larger RVD and thicker RNFL in all subjects. This study helps to clarify the association between RVD, RNFL thickness and ONH parameters and provides normal values for middle‐aged Caucasians that will help in future studies investigating the role of vascular aetiology in systemic and eye diseases.

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Series: Acta ophthalmologica
ISSN: 1755-375X
ISSN-E: 1755-3776
ISSN-L: 1755-375X
Volume: 97
Issue: 5
Pages: 532 - 538
DOI: 10.1111/aos.13992
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3125 Otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology
Funding: The authors wish to thank Silmäsäätiö Foundation, Mary and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, Northern Finland Health Care Support Foundation, Glaukooma Tukisäätiö LUX Foundation and Suomen Lääketieteen Säätiö Foundation for valuable support.
Copyright information: © 2018 The Authors. Acta Ophthalmologica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.