PURPOSE. To study pulsatile ocular blood flow (POBF) throughout pregnancy. METHODS. We enrolled twenty-seven healthy women in the first trimester of gestation, only ten of which were followed through the second trimester, and fourteen non pregnant healthy women. In each subject we measured POBF with the POBF pneumotonometer (OBF Ltd. UK), IOP, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). An unpaired Student t-test was used to compare pregnant women with non-pregnant women, and a two-tailed paired Student t-test was used to compare the same women in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. p <0.05 is considered statistically significant. RESULTS. Results are presented as means ± SD. In the first trimester of pregnancy the age was 32 ± 6, POBF 1516.4 ± 382 ml/min, IOP 13 ± 3 mmHg, BP 92 ± 6 mmHg, and HR 86 ± 14 beats/min. In the second trimester POBF was 1629.11±352.4 ml/min, intraocular pressure (IOP) 12 ± 3 mmHg, BP 96 ± 3 mmHg, and HR 93 ± 10 beats/min. In the control group the age was 27 ± 9, POBF 972.23 ± 329.3 ml/min, BP 88 ± 4.3 mmHg, and HR 80 ± 14 beats/min. POBF increases during the first trimester (p = 0.00008). In the second trimester POBF was higher compared to the first trimester (p = 0.0008). Non significant differences were observed for the other parameters. CONCLUSIONS. The POBF increases throughout gestation. During pregnancy there is an increase in estrogen which induces endothelial-dependent vasodilatation in several tissues. The estrogen changes may influence POBF.
- Ocular blood flow
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