Preeclampsia is a risk factor for future cardiovascular and renal problems as well as the leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Researchers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have determined that subfoveal choroidal thickness is higher in pregnant women with preeclampsia as well as found positive correlations with markers of severity of the condition. They believe that subfoveal choroidal thickness could be used as a novel predictor of preeclampsia’s severity.

The study included 50 eyes each from 50 pregnant women with preeclampsia, 50 pregnant women without the condition and 50 age-matched normotensive, nonpregnant women. It defined preeclampsia as blood pressure above 140/90mm Hg on at least two occasions more than four hours apart after 20 weeks of gestation in previously normotensive patients, with significant proteinuria. The pregnant study participants in the two groups were in their third trimester of pregnancies.

The mean arterial blood pressure was higher in the preeclampsia than the normal pregnancy and nonpregnant women (103.0mm Hg vs. 83.2mm Hg vs. 89.5mm Hg, respectively). The subfoveal choroidal thickness of the preeclampsia group was higher than the other groups (370.7µm vs. 344.5µm vs. 315.8μm, respectively).

The study found positive correlations between subfoveal choroidal thickness and mean arterial blood pressure, ocular perfusion pressure and urine protein-to-creatinine ratio in the preeclampsia group. The study also found higher central corneal thickness and lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in pregnant women compared with those nonpregnant. However, there were no statistically significant differences in central corneal thickness, macular thickness or IOP between the preclampsia and healthy, pregnant groups.

Sharudin SN, Saaid R, Samsudin A, Nor F. Subfoveal choroidal thickness in preeclampsia. Optom Vis Sci. 2020;97(2):81-85.