School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Systemic hypoperfusion plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Extreme dips in mean arterial pressure (MAP) due to high 24-h variability are associated with POAG, however, whether this is driven by diurnal or nocturnal dips remains undocumented. We aimed this study to investigate the association of POAG damage with variability and dips in the diurnal and nocturnal MAP.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal study that included 110 POAG patients who underwent 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Our outcomes included (i) functional [visual field defects expressed as mean deviation (MD)] and (ii) structural (optic disc cupping obtained from cup-to-disc ratio) glaucoma damage. MAP variability independent of the mean (VIMmap) was computed for diurnal and nocturnal MAP. Dips were the five diurnal and three nocturnal lowest drops in MAP. We also calculated the night-to-day ratio. We applied mixed models to evaluate the progression of visual field defects and optic disc cupping in relation to diurnal and nocturnal MAP measures.

Results: The mean age was 64.0 y (53% women). The median follow-up was 9 years. In adjusted mixed models, functional progression of glaucoma damage was associated with VIMmap (−2.57 dB change in MD per every 3 mmHg increase in VIMmap; P < 0.001) and diurnal MAP dips (changes in the MD ranged from −2.56 to −3.19 dB; P < 0.001). Every 5 mmHg decrease in the nocturnal MAP level was associated with −1.14 dB changes in MD [95% confidence interval (CI), −1.90 to −0.40] and 0.01 larger optic disc cupping (95% CI, 0.01–0.02). Lower night-to-day ratio was also related to both outcomes (P ≤ 0.012). Functional glaucoma damage worsened if nocturnal hypotension was combined with high variability or extreme dips in the diurnal MAP (P ≤ 0.022).

Conclusion: Progression of glaucoma damage in POAG associates with high variability and extreme dips in the diurnal MAP. Structural glaucoma damage seems more vulnerable to nocturnal hypotension. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring allows the assessment of sporadic diurnal and persistent nocturnal hypotension episodes. These phenotypes might offer an opportunity to improve the risk-stratification of open-angle glaucoma (OAG).


© 2022 Melgarejo, Eijgen, Wei, Maestre, Al-Aswad, Liao, Mena, Vanassche, Janssens, Verhamme, Keer, Stalmans and Zhang.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine



Academic Level




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.