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Valsalva retinopathy in pregnancy: a case report

DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-101

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A 23-year-old woman in her seventh month of pregnancy presented with a history of decreased vision in her left eye of one-week duration. Examination of the affected eye showed best corrected visual acuity of 20/50, and fundus examination revealed a pre-retinal hemorrhage located in the macula. Based on clinical findings, the diagnosis of Valsalva retinopathy was made.Retinal hemorrhages can be generated by Valsalva maneuvers. Pregnancy is a known risk factor for Valsalva retinopathy; however, the diagnosis should be made only after excluding other causes of retinal hemorrhages. It is a self-limited event. We report a case of Valsalva retinopathy complicating normal pregnancy and confirm that, to date, there is no evidence to indicate that there is a risk of recurrence following spontaneous vaginal delivery.Valsalva retinopathy is a unilateral or bilateral condition that occurs when increased intra-thoracic or intra-abdominal pressure transmitted to the eye causes a sharp rise in the intra-ocular venous pressure, and rupture of superficial retinal capillaries [1]. The patient often gives a history of a recent strenuous physical act, which could have increased the intra-thoracic pressure. Pregnancy is known to be a risk factor for Valsalva retinopathy [2]. We hereby report a case of Valsalva retinopathy in a woman in her seventh month of pregnancy.A 23-year-old woman in her seventh month of pregnancy presented with a history of decreased vision in her left eye of one week duration. Her previous medical history was unremarkable but for constipation. She was not on medications. Ophthalmic examination showed best corrected visual acuity of 20/20 in the right eye (OD) and 20/50 in the left eye (OS). The anterior segment was unremarkable and intra-ocular pressure was 10 mm Hg in both eyes. Fundus examination was normal OD, and revealed a pre-retinal hemorrhage located in the macula OS (Figure 1).Since the patient was pregnant, fluorescein angiography was not performed. Blo

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