Transient Ischemic Attack and Acute Ischemic Stroke
Associations With Retinal Microvascular Signs
Background and Purpose—Small vessel disease plays a role in cerebral events. We aimed to investigate the prevalence and patterns of retinal microvascular signs (surrogates for cerebral small vessel disease) among patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) or acute stroke and population control subjects.
Methods—Patients with TIA or acute stroke aged ≥49 years admitted to hospitals in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, were recruited to the Multi-Centre Retina and Stroke Study (n=693, 2005 to 2007). Control subjects were Blue Mountains Eye Study participants aged ≥49 years without TIAs or stroke (n=3384, 1992 to 1994, west of Sydney). TIA, ischemic stroke, or primary intracerebral hemorrhage was classified using standardized neurological assessments, including neuroimaging. Retinal microvascular signs (retinopathy, focal arteriolar narrowing, arteriovenous nicking, enhanced arteriolar light reflex) were assessed from retinal photographs masked to clinical information.
Results—Patients with TIA or acute stroke were older than control subjects and more likely to have stroke risk factors. After adjustment for study site and known risk factors, all retinal microvascular signs were more common in patients with TIA or acute stroke than in control subjects (OR, 1.9 to 8.7; P<0.001). Patients with TIA and those with ischemic stroke had similar prevalences of nondiabetic retinopathy (26.9% versus 29.5%; OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.5 to 1.6), diabetic retinopathy (55.5% versus 50.0%; OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 0.4 to 3.6), focal arteriolar narrowing (15.6% versus 18.4%; OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.4 to 1.5), and arteriovenous nicking (23.0% versus 17.8%; OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.7 to 2.7).
Conclusions—Patients with TIA and acute stroke may share similar risk factors or pathogenic mechanisms.
- cerebral infarct
- intracerebral hemorrhage
- lacunar infarcts
- retinal vascular signs
- Received July 30, 2010.
- Revision received September 6, 2010.
- Accepted September 29, 2010.
- © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.