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Clin Exp Hypertens. 2010;32(8):528-31. doi: 10.3109/10641963.2010.496519.

The association of low-grade systemic inflammation with hypertensive retinopathy.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey.


High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a marker of systemic low-grade inflammation. The pathophysiologic mechanism of hypertensive retiopathy (HR) is not fully established. Elevated blood pressure (BP) alone does not fully account for the extent of retinopathy, other pathogenic mechanisms may be involved, such as low-grade inflammation. Therefore, this study was designed to answer the following questions. (i) Do hs-CRP levels change in HR? (ii) Is there any relation between degree of HR and hs-CRP levels? This study included 84 hypertensive patients with HR. The hypertensive patients were divided into two groups according to the Keith-Wagener classification. Group 1 comprised 42 patients with grade I HR, and Group 2 comprised 42 patients with grade II HR. We selected 42 healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) for control group. The level of hs-CRP in group 2 was significantly higher than in group 1 group (p = 0.018) and control group (p = 0.001), it was also higher in group 1 than in control group (p = 0.002). Also, hs-CRP showed positive correlations with degree of HR (r = 0.29, p = 0.017). Our study suggests that there is a relationship between HR and hs-CRP levels, which may be associated with systemic low- grade inflammation.

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