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Article
January 1939

RETINAL ARTERIOLAR CHANGES AS PART OF AN INDUCED GENERAL VASO-SPASTIC REACTION: EFFECT OF TOBACCO AND COLD

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Section on Ophthalmology (Dr. Cusick) and the Division of Medicine (Dr. Herrell), the Mayo Clinic.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1939;21(1):111-117. doi:10.1001/archopht.1939.00860010127011
Abstract

Functional vasoconstriction, affecting mainly the arteriolar portion of the vascular system, is now generally conceded to play a major part in the production of the peripheral resistance in cases of essential hypertension. The lack of organic change in the arterioles of some hypertensive patients and the drop in blood pressure often seen after the administration of vasodilating and sedative drugs and after section of the splanchnic and other sympathetic nerves, as well as the marked fluctuations in blood pressure in the same persons at various times, all suggest this to be true.

The generalized narrowing observed ophthalmoscopically of the retinal arterioles of patients with the various forms of diffuse vascular disease associated with hypertension is regarded by many as due to spastic constriction or increased tonus in the arterioles rather than to organic change. The recent measurements of the caliber of the retinal arterioles in health and in disease made

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