International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 813–819 | Cite as

Retinal vessel diameter obtained by optical coherence tomography is spared in Parkinson’s disease

  • Duygu Gulmez SevimEmail author
  • Metin Unlu
  • Serap Sonmez
  • Murat Gultekin
  • Cagatay Karaca
  • Ayse Ozturk Oner
Original Paper



To define the alterations in retinal vessel diameter in Parkinson’s disease (PD) by optical coherence tomography (OCT).


This is a case-control study including 41 eyes of 41 patients with diagnosis of PD and 35 eyes of 35 age- and sex-matched control subjects. All subjects underwent complete neurological and ophthalmological examinations before measurements. Retinal vessel diameters and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thicknesses were evaluated with spectral domain OCT (SD-OCT) with a circular scan centered at the optic disc. The diameters of the superior nasal and temporal arteries and veins, and inferior nasal and temporal arteries and veins were measured and then compared between the groups. Correlations with the duration of the disease, usage of levodopa, and pRNFL thicknesses between retinal vessel diameters were examined with Pearson and Spearman correlation analysis.


Average pRNFL thickness is significantly decreased in PD compared to age- and sex-matched controls (p < 0.05). At all measurement points, retinal artery diameter measurements were decreased in the PD group compared to controls, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. Diameters of the retinal veins also did not show any significant difference in the PD and control groups. Superior temporal artery diameter was significantly decreased in patients using levodopa compared to nonusers (p = 0.022). There were no statistically significant correlations between pRNFL thicknesses or disease duration with retinal vessel diameters in PD group.


Parkinson’s disease does not seem to have an impact on the retinal vessel diameters obtained by SD-OCT.


Optical coherence tomography Parkinson’s disease Retina Retinal nerve fiber layer Retinal vessel diameter 



The study was approved by the Erciyes University Clinical Research Ethics Committee (No: 2016/24, date: August 1, 2016).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. We confirm that we had full access to all data and we took final responsibility for decision to submit.


  1. 1.
    de Lau LM, Breteler MM (2006) Epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease. Lancet Neurol 5(6):525–535. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Foo H, Mak E, Yong TT, Wen MC, Chander RJ, Au WL, Tan L, Kandiah N (2016) Progression of small vessel disease correlates with cortical thinning in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 31:34–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hatate J, Miwa K, Matsumoto M, Sasaki T, Yagita Y, Sakaguchi M, Kitagawa K, Mochizuki H (2016) Association between cerebral small vessel diseases and mild parkinsonian signs in the elderly with vascular risk factors. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 26:29–34. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Polo V, Satue M, Rodrigo MJ, Otin S, Alarcia R, Bambo MP, Fuertes MI, Larrosa JM, Pablo LE, Garcia-Martin E (2016) Visual dysfunction and its correlation with retinal changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease: an observational cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 6(5):e009658. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pilat A, McLean RJ, Proudlock FA, Maconachie GD, Sheth V, Rajabally YA, Gottlob I (2016) In vivo morphology of the optic nerve and retina in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 57(10):4420–4427. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Albrecht P, Muller AK, Sudmeyer M, Ferrea S, Ringelstein M, Cohn E, Aktas O, Dietlein T, Lappas A, Foerster A, Hartung HP, Schnitzler A, Methner A (2012) Optical coherence tomography in parkinsonian syndromes. PLoS ONE 7(4):e34891. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Altintas O, Iseri P, Ozkan B, Caglar Y (2008) Correlation between retinal morphological and functional findings and clinical severity in Parkinson’s disease. Doc Ophthalmol 116(2):137–146. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schneider M, Muller HP, Lauda F, Tumani H, Ludolph AC, Kassubek J, Pinkhardt EH (2014) Retinal single-layer analysis in Parkinsonian syndromes: an optical coherence tomography study. J Neural Transm (Vienna) 121(1):41–47. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Spund B, Ding Y, Liu T, Selesnick I, Glazman S, Shrier EM, Bodis-Wollner I (2013) Remodeling of the fovea in Parkinson disease. J Neural Transm (Vienna) 120(5):745–753. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gonzalez-Lopez JJ, Rebolleda G, Leal M, Oblanca N, Munoz-Negrete FJ, Costa-Frossard L, Alvarez-Cermeno JC (2014) Comparative diagnostic accuracy of ganglion cell-inner plexiform and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness measures by Cirrus and Spectralis optical coherence tomography in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Biomed Res Int 2014:128517. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Goldenberg D, Shahar J, Loewenstein A, Goldstein M (2013) Diameters of retinal blood vessels in a healthy cohort as measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Retina 33(9):1888–1894. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schuster AK, Fischer JE, Vossmerbaeumer C, Vossmerbaeumer U (2015) Optical coherence tomography-based retinal vessel analysis for the evaluation of hypertensive vasculopathy. Acta Ophthalmol 93(2):e148–153. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nanhoe-Mahabier W, de Laat KF, Visser JE, Zijlmans J, de Leeuw FE, Bloem BR (2009) Parkinson disease and comorbid cerebrovascular disease. Nat Rev Neurol 5(10):533–541. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fernandez-Seara MA, Mengual E, Vidorreta M, Aznarez-Sanado M, Loayza FR, Villagra F, Irigoyen J, Pastor MA (2012) Cortical hypoperfusion in Parkinson’s disease assessed using arterial spin labeled perfusion MRI. Neuroimage 59(3):2743–2750. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zlokovic BV (2011) Neurovascular pathways to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders. Nat Rev Neurosci 12(12):723–738. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Inzelberg R, Ramirez JA, Nisipeanu P, Ophir A (2004) Retinal nerve fiber layer thinning in Parkinson disease. Vis Res 44(24):2793–2797. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shrier EM, Adam CR, Spund B, Glazman S, Bodis-Wollner I (2012) Interocular asymmetry of foveal thickness in Parkinson disease. J Ophthalmol 2012:728457. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mendrinos E, Mangioris G, Papadopoulou DN, Donati G, Pournaras CJ (2013) Long-term results of the effect of intravitreal ranibizumab on the retinal arteriolar diameter in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Acta Ophthalmol 91(3):e184–190. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kumagai K, Tsujikawa A, Muraoka Y, Akagi-Kurashige Y, Murakami T, Miyamoto K, Yamada R, Yoshimura N (2014) Three-dimensional optical coherence tomography evaluation of vascular changes at arteriovenous crossings. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55(3):1867–1875. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    van der Holst HM, van Uden IW, Tuladhar AM, de Laat KF, van Norden AG, Norris DG, van Dijk EJ, Esselink RA, Platel B, de Leeuw FE (2015) Cerebral small vessel disease and incident parkinsonism: the RUN DMC study. Neurology 85(18):1569–1577. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schwartz RS, Halliday GM, Cordato DJ, Kril JJ (2012) Small-vessel disease in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a clinicopathological study. Mov Disord 27(12):1506–1512. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kromer R, Buhmann C, Hidding U, Keseru M, Keseru D, Hassenstein A, Stemplewitz B (2016) Evaluation of retinal vessel morphology in patients with Parkinson’s disease using optical coherence tomography. PLoS ONE 11(8):e0161136. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ajith TA, Menon R (2015) Homocysteine in ocular diseases. Clin Chim Acta 450:316–321. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kolar P (2014) Risk factors for central and branch retinal vein occlusion: a meta-analysis of published clinical data. J Ophthalmol 2014:724780. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yavas GF, Yilmaz O, Kusbeci T, Ozturk F (2007) The effect of levodopa and dopamine agonists on optic nerve head in Parkinson disease. Eur J Ophthalmol 17(5):812–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lyttle DP, Johnson LN, Margolin EA, Madsen RW (2016) Levodopa as a possible treatment of visual loss in nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 254(4):757–764. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Guan J, Pavlovic D, Dalkie N, Waldvogel HJ, O’Carroll SJ, Green CR, Nicholson LF (2013) Vascular degeneration in Parkinson’s disease. Brain Pathol 23(2):154–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyErciyes University Faculty of MedicineKayseriTurkey
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyErciyes University Faculty of MedicineKayseriTurkey

Personalised recommendations