Retinal and Choroidal Capillary Perfusion Are Reduced in Hypertensive Crisis Irrespective of Retinopathy


Hypertensive crisis causes end-organ damage through small-vessel damage as described histologically. Noninvasive optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) makes it possible to image retinal and choroidal capillaries on a microscopic level in vivo. We quantified eye vessel perfusion changes in hypertensive crisis using OCTA. 3-mm images of the superficial and deep retinal layers and the choriocapillaris were acquired. Outcome parameters included vessel density (VD) and vessel skeleton density (VSD) of the superficial and deep retinal layers, as well as flow voids of the choriocapillaris. = 0.045). Hypertensive crisis is associated with a significant reduction in retinal and choroidal capillary perfusion based on OCTA findings. These alterations are independent of retinopathy and related to end-organ damage. OCTA might help distinguish hypertensive urgency from hypertensive emergency earlier than currently possible.

Transl Vis Sci Technol