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No Acute Effect of Smoking on Peripapillary and Macular Vessel Density in Healthy Middle-aged Smokers

Holló, Gábor, MD, PhD, DSc

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000001171
Online Articles: Brief Reports

Purpose: To investigate the acute effect of smoking on peripapillary and superficial parafoveal vessel density (VD) in healthy smokers.

Materials and Methods: One eye each of 7 healthy smokers (age 40 y and above) was imaged using the Angiovue/RTvue-XR optical coherence tomography after a period of at least 2 hours without smoking (baseline) and 5, 30, and 90 minutes after smoking a cigarette of the brand usually smoked by each participant. In each session, 3 high-quality peripapillary and macular VD scans were acquired. The corresponding measurement results were averaged for each session, respectively.

Results: The participants’ age was 45.7±7.1 years; the length of smoking 19.9±10.3 years; and the number of cigarettes per day 15.1±4.0. The image quality scores were high for both peripapillary and macular VD images (medians: 9.0 and 8.7) and did not change during the study (P≥0.196). At baseline peripapillary capillary VD, all-vessels VD and parafoveal VD were 52.4%±2.0%, 58.8%±2.5%, and 49.8%±1.6%, respectively. None of these parameters changed during the study period after smoking (P≥0.276). The relative change from the mean baseline VD values at the 3 timepoints after smoking ranged between −0.45% and 0.42%, −0.37% and 0.47%, and −0.13% and 2.0%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that VD values in healthy middle-aged smokers are not influenced either by acute smoking a cigarette or by the time elapsed since the most recent cigarette. This indicates that in long-term investigations for glaucomatous VD progression no control for smoking is needed, at least in the healthy control groups.

Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Disclosure: G.H. is an unpaid consultant of Optovue Inc. and Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc.

Reprints: Gábor Holló, MD, PhD, DSc, 1085, Budapest, Mária u. 39, Hungary (e-mail:

Received November 6, 2018

Accepted December 8, 2018

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