Peripheral endothelial dysfunction in normal pressure glaucoma

E Henry, D E Newby, D J Webb, C O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

PURPOSE: To assess vascular endothelial function in patients with normal pressure glaucoma using forearm blood flow responses to intra-arterial infusions of endothelial-dependent and -independent vasoactive agents.

METHODS: Eight patients with newly diagnosed and untreated normal pressure glaucoma and eight healthy age- and sex-matched control volunteers underwent measurement of forearm blood flow using venous occlusion plethysmography. Blood flow was assessed in response to incremental doses of sodium nitroprusside (an endothelial-independent vasodilator), acetylcholine (an endothelial-dependent vasodilator) and the vasoconstrictor N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase).

RESULTS: Sodium nitroprusside caused a dose-related increase in forearm blood flow in patients and controls. Glaucoma patients appeared to have an increased vasodilatory response, but this was not significant (P = 0.23). Acetylcholine also induced vasodilatation in both groups, but the response was significantly reduced in the glaucoma group (P = 0.04). N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine induced a similar degree of vasoconstriction in both groups (P = 0.76).

CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown an impairment of peripheral endothelium-mediated vasodilatation in normal pressure glaucoma. These findings would support the concept of a generalized vascular endothelial dysfunction in patients with this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1710-4
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Acetylcholine
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brachial Artery
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Female
  • Forearm
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitroprusside
  • Plethysmography
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • omega-N-Methylarginine


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