Coronary artery bypass surgery independently associates with retinal vascular oxygen saturation

Sebastian Dinesen*, Pia S. Jensen, Maria Bloksgaard, Jo De Mey, Jes S.Lindholt, Lars M. Rasmusssen, Jakob Grauslund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: The retinal vasculature is the only part of the microcirculation that can be directly studied by non-invasive imaging. Based on the hypothesis that the systemic circulation is reflected in retinal vessels, we investigated if coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is related to changes in retinal vascular oxygen saturation (rSatO2). Methods: Retinal metabolism was evaluated by Oxymap T1, which simultaneously captures two retinal images at different wavelengths measuring the retinal arteriolar (raSatO2) and venular (rvSatO2) oxygen saturation. Three to 4 days after surgery, we measured the median rSatO2 after CABG in 38 patients and in 39 healthy controls (operated for cataract). Results: Coronary artery bypass grafting patients had higher raSatO2 (median ± standard deviation 93.1 ± 6.7% versus 90.5 ± 11.2%, p = 0.001) and rvSatO2 (57.4 ± 8.3% versus 53.5 ± 15.4%, p = 0.048) compared to healthy controls. In multivariable linear regression models, raSatO2 independently associated with CABG (coefficient + 3.6% in CABG patients, p = 0.007), and rvSatO2 correlated with gender (coefficient + 9.4% for females, p = 0.001) and CABG (coefficient + 8.2% in patients with CABG, p = 0.001). Conclusions: Comparing patients with and without cardiovascular disease, raSatO2 and rvSatO2 positively and independently associated with CABG, suggesting their potential as non-invasive markers for coronary large artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)709-715
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • CABG
  • imaging
  • oxygen metabolism
  • retinal microcirculation
  • retinal oximetry


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