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L. Iacobelli, S. Salvatore, I. Girolami, M. Liverani, E. Vingolo; Visual Acuity Changes in Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients During Pregnancy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):996. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Most of the information available on the effect of pregnancy on the progression of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are limited to the impressions of the patients. We investigated visual function in RP during pregnancy, so to offer recommendations for preconception and pregnancy counselling of female patients with RP
We enrolled 22 (44 eyes) female pregnant patients (age range 20- 32) with RP. All patients signed informed consent and all the procedures adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki. All patients underwent ophthalmologic examination with BCVA at month 1, month 3, month 5, month 7, immediately after the delivery, month 3 post- partum, month 5 post- partum, month 8 post partum. Statistical analysis was performed with Student T test. P values < 0.05 were considered statistically significative
None of the patients felt they experienced visual changes during pregnancy. BCVA was 0.11 ±0.48 logMAR at month 1, 0.12± 0.45 at month 3, 0.14 ±0.45 at month 5, 0.15± 0.45 at month 7, 0.17 ±0.46 immediately after the delivery, 0.19 ±0.45 at month 3 post- partum, 0.21± 0.44 at 5 month post- partum, 0.17 ±0.42 at month 8 post partum. The visual acuity decrease was not statistically significant. The only statistically significant result was the decrease of VA from the beginning of pregnancy to month 5 post- partum (p= 0.04). None of the patients experienced pregnancy specific eye diseases, including preeclamsia/eclampsia and cortical blindness
Our data indicate that RP progression is not correlated with pregnancy. The only significant result was visual acuity slight worsening at 5 month post- partum; this was probably due to the fact that all our patients brest fed their children and undergo a depletion of vitamins and docosoesanoic acid contained in mother’s milk. In general, women with RP should be advised that their visual acuity may worsen with breast feeding, as was demonstrated by our report. The reason of this result should be further investigated, and RP women should be advised of a closer follow- up during pregnancy and post- partum vitamin supplementation
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