New predictor for glaucoma
Wednesday, January 9 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
A recent study shows that changes in blood vessels in the retina can be an early warning that a person is at risk of developing glaucoma.
Researchers led by Dr. Paul Mitchell, of the Centre for Vision Research at the University of Sydney, Australia, studied diagnostic photos and other data from the Australian Blue Mountains Eye Study, which involved nearly 2,500 patients. They found that those whose arteries were abnormally narrow at the start of the study were at increased risk of glaucoma 10 years later.
“Our results suggest that a computer-based imaging tool designed to detect narrowing of the retinal artery caliber, or diameter, could effectively identify those who are most at risk for open-angle glaucoma,” said Dr. Mitchell. “Such a tool would also need to account for blood pressure and other factors that can contribute to blood vessel changes. Early detection would allow ophthalmologists to treat patients before optic nerve damage occurs and would give us the best chance of protecting their vision.”