Can dynamic contour tonometry and ocular pulse amplitude help to detect severe cardiovascular pathologies?
T Bertelmann,1 S Langanke,1 M Potstawa,2 I Strempel1
1Department of Ophthalmology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Marburg, 2Section Cardiology, Internal Medicine Clinic, Schwalmstadt, Germany
Abstract: We demonstrate the close relationship between a conspicuous ocular pulse amplitude and severe underlying cardiovascular disease. Two otherwise symptom-free glaucoma patients without any previously diagnosed underlying cardiovascular pathology but with a conspicuous ocular pulse amplitude and who underwent routine examinations in our glaucoma department were referred to the appropriate specialty for further diagnostic procedures. In both patients, the diagnosis of a tachyarrhythmia was made as suspected on dynamic contour tonometry measurements. In addition to medical treatment, one patient underwent electric cardioversion and the second patient was scheduled for pacemaker implantation. A third patient with an unexpected high ocular pulse amplitude despite severe cardiovascular pathology underwent major surgery due to an aortic aneurysm. Carotid stenosis was diagnosed due to side differences in ocular pulse amplitude as well. Ocular pulse amplitude might be a noninvasive and affordable screening tool and could be used to detect severe cardiovascular disease. A prospective study including a larger number of patients is needed to prove this hypothesis.
Keywords: cardiovascular pathology, carotid occlusive disease, dynamic contour tonometry, glaucoma, ocular pulse amplitude, tachyarrhythmia
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