Corneal Changes in Pregnancy Linked to Fluctuating Thyroid Hormone Levels
By Lynda Seminara
Selected By: Richard K. Parrish II, MD
American Journal of Ophthalmology, January 2018
Tabibian et al. documented corneal changes that occur during pregnancy and evaluated their association with simultaneous hormonal changes. They found that the changes they observed correlated with fluctuating thyroid hormone levels rather than altered estradiol levels.
This prospective single-center observational study involved 24 pregnant women (48 eyes). Biomechanical and topographic properties of the cornea were measured with the Ocular Response Analyzer (ORA) and a Scheimpflug imaging system at 4 time points: once during each trimester and 1 month after delivery. During the same 4 visits, the blood plasma level of estradiol (E2) was determined, as were thyroid hormone levels (TSH, T3t, T4t). One-way multivariate analysis of covariance was used to detect interactions between hormonal plasma levels and changes in corneal biomechanical/topographic parameters.
Biomechanical and topographic data for the 4 time points were comparable. Although the level of E2 did not affect corneal parameters, TSH levels affected the maximal keratometry and vertical keratometry readings as well as the index of height asymmetry (these results remained unchanged after excluding patients with hypothyroidism from the analysis). Moreover, differences in corneal biomechanical and topographic parameters were found in relation to T3t and T4t as well as the T3t/T4t ratio.
Further research is needed to determine the potential role of thyroid diseases in the development and progression of corneal disorders, the authors said.
The original article can be found here.