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Eric Chin, Khoa Lam, Karishma Chandra, Ellen Redenbo, Susanna Park; Choroidal Thickness in Healthy Pregnant Women Using EDI-OCT. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4905.
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Pregnancy is associated with an increase in blood volume and cardiac output by 30 to 50%. Various ocular conditions, such as central serous chorioretinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy/choroidopathy, retinal artery occlusion, myopic shift or spontaneous orbital hemorrhage have been described and associated with pregnancy. This pilot study compared the choroidal thickness of asymptomatic otherwise healthy pregnant women to age-matched normal subjects using enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT) to study the effect of pregnancy on choroidal thickness.
A prospective, case-control pilot study of five female patients with uncomplicated pregnancy were imaged using the Heidelberg Spectralis OCT with EDI analysis. Subfoveal choroidal thickness measurements were obtained at various time points throughout the pregnancy in all five patients. These measurements were compared to five healthy age-matched female controls with similar refractive error range and no significant ocular abnormality. Statistical analysis was performed using an unpaired Student T-test.
All subjects were asymptomatic and had normal eye examination and BCVA. Mean age in the pregnant group was 29.0 years, versus 28.2 years in the control group (p = 0.83). All five pregnant subjects were imaged at least once during the second and/or third trimester of pregnancy at mean 31.3 weeks gestation (range, 22-37 weeks). Mean choroidal thickness measurement was 315.6 μm (range, 150-532 μm) in pregnant females and 209.7 μm (range, 163-271 μm) in controls (p = 0.01). The average change in choroidal thickness was 56.8 μm (range 18-111 μm), with a downward trend in choroidal thickness during the third trimester in four out of five patients. None of the subjects had intraretinal or subretinal fluid by OCT imaging.
Subfoveal choroidal thickness may be elevated during pregnancy. This small pilot study shows a possible downward trend in choroidal thickness as patients advance from second to third trimester. Further research is needed to better understand the pathophysiological significance of these findings which may be associated with pregnancy.
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