Conjunctival microangiopathy

An early sign of degenerative vascular disease?
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      Biomicroscopic examination of the bulbar conjunctival vessels regularly discloses degenerative microangiopathy in patients with overt arteriosclerotic cerebral vascular disease. Examination of a group of normotensive nondiabetic adults aged 21 to 39 years disclosed similar but less severe changes in 56 per cent of the men and 26 per cent of the women. The incidence was higher (88 per cent of the men and 45 per cent of the women) in those with a strong family history of early death from arteriosclerotic disease. There was no consistent correlation between the severity of the microangiopathy and the values for hematocrit, cholesterol, triglycerides or blood pressure. Conjunctival microangiopathy, like atherosclerosis of larger vessels, starts in the second and third decades and advances with age. We suggest that microangiopathic changes in the conjunctival vessels may provide the first readily detectable evidence of degenerative vascular disease.
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