Retinal blood flow velocity in metabolic syndrome

Shay Gutfreund, Elena Izkhakov, Russell Pokroy*, Marianna Yaron, Hanny Yeshua, Zvia Burgansky-Eliash, Adiel Barak, Ardon Rubinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. The Retinal Function Imager (RFI) is a new technique for measuring retinal blood-flow velocity. This study aims to compare retinal blood flow velocity between MetS and healthy subjects. Methods: Twenty eyes of 20 MetS males and 21 eyes of 21 aged-matched healthy males underwent RFI and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurement as well as assessment of MetS parameters. The results in MetS and healthy subjects were compared. Results: The average venular velocity in the MetS patients was significantly higher than in the healthy subjects (2.7 ± 0.0 mm/sec versus 2.5 ± 0.0 mm/sec respectively, P = 0.013), following adjustment for age, heart rate and systolic blood pressure. Carotid-femoral PWV was higher in the MetS population than the healthy controls (10.3 ± 1.2 mm/sec versus 9.3 ± 1.5 mm/sec respectively, P = 0.005). The diastolic blood pressure and MAP were correlated strongly with the arterial blood flow velocities in healthy subjects (r = 0.503, P = 0.020 and r = 0.474, P = 0.030 respectively) but not in MetS subjects. Conclusions: The RFI was able to distinguish between the retinal blood flow of normal and MetS subjects. Higher venular blood flow velocity and the poor correlation between velocity and blood pressure of MetS subjects suggest that MetS causes microvascular damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-1513
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Retinal arterioles
  • Retinal blood flow velocity
  • Retinal venules


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