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A. Grosso, A.M. Fea, F.M. Grignolo
The major purpose of evaluating changes in the retinal vasculature associated with hypertension is to explore their prognostic value for cardiovascular outcomes. Abnormalities of the retinal vasculature, such as generalized retinal arteriolar narrowing, arteriovenous nicking and retinopathy, have been shown to reflect microvascular damage from hypertension and arteriolosclerosis. These changes may be markers for related vascular pathology in the coronary and cerebral circulations, and may predict future clinical cardiovascular events. A quantitative way of assessing one of the microvascular changes, generalized arteriolar narrowing in the retina, was recently developed and used in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study population. In this article we focus on computer-assisted grading of retinal vascular diameter and their clinical implications.