Objective: To investigate the changes of amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) in brain regions of patients with hypertensive retinopathy by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and change in the relationship of ALFF value with potential emotional and psychological changes.

Methods: Thirty-one patients with hypertensive retinopathy (HR) (16 men and 15 women) and 31 healthy controls (HCs; 16 men and 15 women) matched for age, sex, and weight were enrolled in the research. The changes in mean ALFF values could reflect brain activity between HR patients and HCs. We used the independent samples t-test to evaluate different demographic and general information between the two groups. Two-sample t-test was used to detect differences of mean ALFF values in the brain region between the two groups using the same software.

Results: The ALFF values in the brain areas of HR and HCs were different. HR patients had lower ALFF value in the left medial superior frontal gyrus and left middle frontal gyrus than the HCs. The higher ALFF values were found in the cerebellum (left inferior and right superior lobes, vermis) and left inferior temporal gyrus of the HR patients than the controls.

Conclusion: Our findings showed fluctuations in ALFF values in the HR patients’ brain regions. ALFF values reflect over or reduced activity in brain regions. Abnormal ALFF values in these brain areas can predict early HR development, preventing the malignant transformation of hypertensive microangiopathy.