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Pregnancy-induced Progression of Keratoconus

Bilgihan, Kamil MD; Hondur, Ahmet MD; Sul, Sabahattin MD; Ozturk, Sertac MD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182068adc
Clinical Science

Purpose: To report eyes with keratoconus that progressed during pregnancy.

Methods: Seven eyes of 4 patients with progression of keratoconus during pregnancy were included in this study. The mean age of patients and the mean follow-up duration were 29.3 years and 39 months, respectively. Progressive keratoconus was documented with changes in refraction, corneal topography, and rigid gas-permeable lens fitting pattern. Patients with accompanying systemic and ocular diseases associated with keratoconus, uncontrolled atopic disease, and eye rubbing were excluded.

Results: Mean increase in spherical equivalent refraction and simulated keratometry values were 1.4 ± 1.1 and 1.1 ± 0.8 diopters, respectively. In eyes wearing rigid gas-permeable lenses, increase in corneal apical touch and decrease in the base curve radius of the best-fitting contact lens were observed.

Conclusions: Hormonal changes during pregnancy may affect corneal biomechanics negatively, and pregnancy may be a previously unrecognized risk factor for progression of keratoconus. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing pregnancy-induced keratoconus progression in patients with no accompanying disease.

From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Gazi University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey; and †Department of Ophthalmology, Ufuk University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey.

Received for publication June 6, 2010; revision received November 7, 2010; accepted November 9, 2010.

None of the authors have financial or proprietary interest in any method or material mentioned. Also, no funding was received.

Reprints: Ahmet Hondur, Gazi Universitesi Hastanesi Goz Hastaliklari AD, 13. Kat, Besevler, Ankara 06500, Turkey (e-mail:

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.