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Introduction: Spontaneous retinal venous pulsation (SRVP) is a rhythmic variation in the calibre of one or more retinal veins. The incidence of SRVP was reduced in glaucoma patients. It was also reduced in people with raised intracranial pressure compared to a healthy population.

Purpose: The main objective was to report the frequency and rate of SRVP in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG) patients and to associate these with the severity of glaucoma in Malay patients.

Design of study: A comparative cross-sectional study.

Materials and methods: A comparative cross-sectional study involving primary glaucoma patients attending the eye clinic at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kelantan, Malaysia, was performed between December 2015 and June 2017. The main outcomes measured were the presence and rate of SRVP using a confocal
scanning laser ophthalmoscope (Spectralis High-Resolution Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography, Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany). In the presence of SRVP, the rate of SRVP in one minute was counted manually based on the real-time fundus movie recorded using the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope.

Results: Thirty-eight POAG, 14 PACG, and 51 control group subjects were included. There was a significantly lower incidence of SRVP in primary glaucoma patients than in the control group (p = 0.003). The presence of SRVP was significantly lower in POAG than PACG (p = 0.04). There was no significant difference in the rate of
SRVP between primary glaucoma patients and the control group (p = 0.873) or between the POAG group and PACG group (p = 0.511). There was no association of incidence (p = 0.574) and rate (p = 0.167) of SRVP according to the severity of glaucoma. Systolic blood pressure (95% CI: 0.95–1.00, p = 0.038) and retinal nerve
fibre layer thickness (95% CI: 1.01–1.09, p = 0.008) showed a significant association with the presence of SRVP.

Conclusions: SRVP is a potential predictive factor for detection of primary glaucoma. The role of SRVP in the severity of glaucoma is still unclear. The role of SRVP in PACG patients warrants further studies in the future.

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