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Tortuous Blood Vessels

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Old 04-06-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: st paul, mn, usa
Posts: 3
sm0808 HB User
Tortuous Blood Vessels

Howdy, I think I'm a healthy 32 year old male. I had an eye test which revealed tortous blood vessels in my eyes. The opthomologist said it is usually a result of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a normal variant. He also said everything else checks out fine and my eyes are healthy; he just made a note of it.

I have had an isolated incident of atrial fibrillation 1.5 years ago but it was mild and lasted only for a few hours. I had a stress echo and a battery of tests to rule out heart damage after that ER visit and my heart structure and function checked out healthy. I do not have diabetes and my blood pressure is in the healthy range (115-120/70-80). My total cholesterol is low. I don't think I've had a heart attack or stroke.

Anyone have experience with what else could cause this condition? I havent had any other doctors bring this up in my past so I doubt I was born with it.

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Old 04-07-2009, 05:19 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,002
KeelaC HB User
Re: Tortuous Blood Vessels

You say no other doctor has mentioned it, but wouldn't the doctor have to be an ophthalmologist to have seen it? Maybe not. I just had a physical yesterday and the GP looked in my eyes with a light.

Anyway, perhaps you should go with the "normal variant" explanation. I found this from a study of healthy people:

Of 218 subjects, 79 (36.2%) had straight retinal arteries, 110 (50.5%) had wavy arteries, and 29 (13.3%) had tortuous arteries. Heritability of tortuosity was 82% (CI95 64, 92%), with unshared environmental factors accounting for the remaining 18% (CI95 8, 36%). Increasing values of mean arterial blood pressure and body mass index were both associated with decreasing levels of retinal arterial tortuosity.

Conclusion: There was a large variation in tortuosity of retinal arteries in these healthy subjects and the predominant determinant was genetic influence, accounting for 82% of the observed variation in tortuosity.

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