The traditional classification of hypertensive retinopathy was based on the Keith–Wagener–Barker (KWB) grading, which is a subjective scaling system, and it is difficult to distinguish between the first and second grades. Retinal and choroidal vasculatures are affected by systemic hypertension, although retinal vasculature changes with age, axial length, intraocular pressure, and retinal diseases. It is necessary to establish a new objective method to assess hypertensive vascular changes. In the present study, we have examined the vasculature of the macular choriocapillaris in order to establish a new objective method to assess hypertensive vascular changes using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Choriocapillaris vessel density (VD), vessel length, and vessel diameter index in a 3 × 3 mm macular area were measured by OTCA in a total of 567 volunteers (361 healthy subjects and 206 subjects with systemic hypertension) who attended a basic health check-up. Ocular factors, systemic factors, and medications were evaluated. We detected significant differences in normative choriocapillaris vasculature between the left and right eyes in 53 healthy subjects and revealed correlations between age, intraocular pressure, axial length, and choriocapillaris vasculature in 308 healthy subjects. Normative foveal VD was correlated with age only and the efficiency was weak. The analysis of 206 right eyes (KWB grade 0, 159 eyes; grade 1, 35 eyes; and grade 2, 12 eyes) revealed that foveal VD was strongly correlated with KWB grade only (P < 0.001). This is the first report suggesting that OCTA for foveal choriocapillaris measurement by OCTA would might provide the advantage of evaluating be objective method for evaluating the progression of systemic hypertension.
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