24.10.2019 | Original Research | Ausgabe 5/2020
Alterations of retinal vessels in patients with sepsis
Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
- Jurate Simkiene, Zivile Pranskuniene, Martynas Patasius, Jurgis Trumpaitis, E. Christiaan Boerma, Andrius Pranskunas
To compare the retinal vasculature of septic patients with age-matched healthy volunteers. This is a single-centre prospective observational study from January 2018 to May 2019 in a third-level ICU. We performed a single fundus imaging using a hand-held digital fundus camera in patients with sepsis or septic shock (n = 40) during the first 24 h after ICU admission and compared these data with age-matched healthy controls (n = 20). Semi-automated image analysis was performed. The average retinal arteriolar and venular caliber were calculated and summarized as the central retinal arteriolar equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal venular equivalent (CRVE). Arteriole:venular ratio (AVR) was defined as the ratio of CRAE:CRVE. The vascular length density of segmented retinal vessels was = defined as the skeletonized vessel area/total area × 100%. Median CRAE of septic patients was significantly higher in comparison to healthy controls (165[149–187] vs. 146[142–158] µm, p = 0.002). However, median CRVE and AVR of septic patients did not differ with healthy controls (247[223–282] vs. 244[215–272], p = 0.396 and 0.64[0.58–0.74] vs. 0.61[0.55–0.68], p = 0.145) respectively. Patients with sepsis showed a significant decrease in retinal vascular length density compared with healthy subjects (p < 0.001). Retinal observation using a hand-held fundus imaging device showed signs of arteriolar vasodilation with decreased vascular density in septic patients in comparison to healthy controls.