Purpose Recent studies have shown that the risk of cerebro- and cardiovascular events (CVEs) is higher in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) than in those with essential hypertension (EH), and that silent brain infarction (SBI) is a risk factor and predictor of CVEs. Here, we evaluated the relationship between findings from laser speckle flowgraphy (LSFG), a recently introduced non-invasive means of measuring mean blur rate (MBR), an important biomarker of ocular blood flow, and the occurrence of SBI in patients with PA. Methods 87 PA patients without symptomatic cerebral events (mean 55.1 ± 11.2 years old, 48 male and 39 female) were enrolled in this study. We measured MBR in the optic nerve head (ONH) with LSFG and checked the occurrence of SBI with magnetic resonance imaging. We examined three MBR waveform variables: skew, blowout score (BOS) and blowout time (BOT). We also recorded clinical findings, including age, blood pressure, and plasma aldosterone concentration. Results PA patients with SBI (15 of 87 patients; 17%) were significantly older and had significantly lower BOT in the capillary area of the ONH than the patients without SBI (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age and BOT were independent factors for the presence of SBI in PA patients (OR, 1.15, 95% CI 1.01 - 1.38; P = .03 and OR, 0.73, 95% CI 0.45-0.99; P = .04, respectively). Conclusion PA patients with SBI were older and had lower MBR BOT than those without SBI. Our analysis showed that age was a risk factor for SBI, and that BOT was a protective factor, in patients with PA. This suggests that BOT, a non-invasive and objective biomarker, may be a useful predictor of SBI and form part of future PA evaluations and clinical decision-making.
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