May 15, 2014
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Changes in corneal biomechanics during pregnancy call for surveillance of patients with previous ectatic disorders

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PARIS — Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy produce significant effects on corneal biomechanics, according to a study carried out at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

The study is ongoing and by 2015 will enroll a total of 50 subjects. Results of 25 patients followed at each trimester during pregnancy and twice after delivery were presented at the meeting of the French Society of Ophthalmology. Corneal examinations included maximum keratometry and central pachymetry with the Pentacam (Oculus) as well as corneal hysteresis, corneal resistance factor and intraocular pressure with the Ocular Response Analyzer (Reichert).

David Tabibian

“We found a significant increase in corneal hysteresis and a significant decrease in IOP over the course of pregnancy,” David Tabibian, MD, said.

The IOP findings confirm those of previous studies, while the corneal hysteresis findings are new in the literature.

“The increased corneal hysteresis is correlated with increased viscosity of the cornea induced by the hormonal changes,” he said.

Patients with a history of clinical or subclinical ectatic disease should be closely monitored during pregnancy, he said.

Disclosure: Tabibian has no relevant financial disclosures.