Nailfold video capillaroscopy as a marker of microvascular changes in patients with primary open angle and exfoliative glaucoma

ID Number NYEE-16-11

Principal Investigator(s)
Robert Ritch

Department(s) or Division(s)


The purpose of this study is to look at the relationship of small blood vessels (microvascular capillary) abnormalities observed with video nailfold capillaroscopy with primary open-angle glaucoma, normal-tension glaucoma, high tension glaucoma, exfoliative glaucoma and exfoliation syndrome.

We will be using nailfold capillaroscopy to measure red blood cell speed (velocity) and to detect the presence of bleeding (hemorrhage), little or no vessels (avascularity), or twisted vessels (tortuosity) of the capillary nailfolds in patients with these conditions and comparing them to controls (patients who have no glaucoma or exfoliation syndrome). This will provide insight into the smallest blood vessels (microvascular) abnormalities associated with these forms of glaucoma, as well as to characterize differences between them, and will have multiple clinical implications.

Nailfold capillaroscopy is now considered one of the diagnostic imaging techniques for studying the microcirculation in vivo. It is simple, safe, noninvasive, repeatable, and inexpensive. In ophthalmology, the skin fold that is at the tip of your finder is called the “nailfold”.  Nailfold capillaroscopy has been used to assess vessel constriction (vasospasm) in patients with glaucoma, and reduced capillary blood-cell velocity in the nailfold capillaries after cold exposure has been observed in these patients. This study examines the characteristics and prevalence of nailfold capillary changes in patients with glaucoma and analyzed their possible relationship to other clinical characteristics of glaucoma.

Patients may qualify to take part in this research study because they have primary open angle glaucoma, exfoliation glaucoma or exfoliation syndrome. One may also qualify to be part of the control group if s/he does not have glaucoma or exfoliation syndrome.

Contact Information
Luis Silva, MD
(646) 943-7925

Recruiting Patients: Yes