Retinal endothelial function in cardiovascular risk patients: A randomized controlled exercise trial

Streese, Lukas and Kotliar, Konstantin and Deiseroth, Arne and Infanger, Denis and Gugleta, Konstantin and Schmaderer, Christoph and Hanssen, Henner. (2019) Retinal endothelial function in cardiovascular risk patients: A randomized controlled exercise trial. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 30 (2). pp. 272-280.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73040/

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The aim of this study was to investigate, for the first time, the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on retinal microvascular endothelial function in cardiovascular (CV) risk patients. In the randomized controlled trial, middle-aged and previously sedentary patients with increased CV risk (aged 58 ± 6 years) with ≥ two CV risk factors were randomized into a 12-week HIIT (n = 33) or control group (CG, n = 36) with standard physical activity recommendations. A blinded examiner measured retinal endothelial function by flicker light-induced maximal arteriolar (ADmax) and venular (VDmax) dilatation as well as the area under the arteriolar (AFarea) and venular (VFarea) flicker curve using a retinal vessel analyzer. Standardized assessments of CV risk factors, cardiorespiratory fitness, and retinal endothelial function were performed before and after HIIT. HIIT reduced body mass index, fat mass, and low-density lipoprotein and increased muscle mass and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak). Both ADmax (pre: 2.7 ± 2.1%, post: 3.0 ± 2.2%, P = .018) and AFarea (pre: 32.6 ± 28.4%*s, post: 37.7 ± 30.6%*s, P = .016) increased after HIIT compared with CG (ADmax, pre: 3.2 ± 1.8%, post: 2.9 ± 1.8%, P = .254; AFarea, pre: 41.6 ± 28.5%*s, post: 37.8 ± 27.0%*s, P = .186). Venular function remained unchanged after HIIT. There was a significant association between ∆-change VO2peak and ∆-changes ADmax and AFarea (P = .026, R; 2; = 0.073; P = .019, R; 2; = 0.081, respectively). 12-weeks of HIIT improved retinal endothelial function in middle-aged patients with increased CV risk independent of the reduction in classical CV risk factors. Exercise has the potential to reverse or at least postpone progression of small vessel disease in older adults with increased CV risk under standard medication. Dynamic retinal vessel analysis seems to be a sensitive tool to detect treatment effects of exercise interventions on retinal microvascular endothelial function in middle-aged individuals with increased CV risk.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Sport, Bewegung und Gesundheit > Bereich Sport- und Bewegungsmedizin > Präventive Sportmedizin (Hanssen)
UniBasel Contributors:Streese, Lukas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 11:44
Deposited On:13 Jul 2020 11:44

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