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Influence of pregnancy on corneal biomechanics

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Session Details

Session Title: Corneal Biomechanics

Session Date/Time: Monday 15/09/2014 | 17:00-18:30

Paper Time: 17:06

Venue: Capital Hall A

First Author: : F.Hafezi SWITZERLAND

Co Author(s): :    B. Martinez de Tejada   V. Strueven   F. Hoogewoud   D. Tabibian     

Abstract Details


There is increasing evidence that hormonal changes during pregnancy alter the biomechanical stability of the human cornea: estrogen receptors have been identified in the human cornea and changes in estrogens levels may modulate protein synthesis in keratocytes but also indirectly modify the proteolytic activity of local enzymes, ultimately triggering activation and exacerbation of keratoconus and postoperative ectasia.


Dept. of Ophthalmology and Dept. of Obstretrics, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland


Prospective monocentric clinical study measuring biomechanical changes during and after pregnancy. 20 women were recruited and followed during pregnancy and up to six months after pregnancy. Once per trimester and at 1 month and 6 months post-partu the following exams were performed: slit-lamp examination, blood samples to assess estrogens levels, Ocular response Analyzer (ORA, Reichert technologies, Buffalo, NY, USA) and Scheimpflug imaging (Pentacam, Oculus, Optikgeräte, Wetzlar, Germany).


We will present the impact of pregnancy on corneal thickness, Kmax readings, posterior elevation, keratoconus indices and corneal hysteresis and relate them to the estrogen changes measured throughout and after pregnancy.


Our results suggest that pregnancy may have an impact on corneal biomechanics. One potential explanation could be the direct and indirect effects of estrogen on keratocytes and enzymatic activity. In conclusion, patients with previously known clinical or subclinical keratectasia or other diseases affecting corneal biomechanics might benefit from close monitoring during pregnancy to prevent worsening of corneal curvature and vision.

Financial Interest:


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