Relationship between Corneal Biomechanical Properties among Pregnant Women in a Tertiary Hospital in Nigeria

  • NZ Nwachukwu
  • OI Okoye
  • Obiekwe Okoye
  • CC Eze
  • DC Nwachukwu
  • UI Nwagha
  • RE Umeh
Keywords: Central corneal thickness, cornea sensitivity, intraocular pressure, pregnancy

Abstract

Objective: In Nigeria, many pregnant women as well as health‑care providers are unaware of the effect of pregnancy on the eye. The present study investigated the changes in central corneal thickness (CCT), corneal sensitivity (CS), and intraocular pressure (IOP) among pregnant women in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria and the relationship between them. Materials and Methods: A prospective longitudinal study was used. One hundred and thirty‑four pregnant women attending the Obstetric Clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, were consecutively recruited in their second trimester for the study. Changes in CCT, CS, and IOP were monitored at the second and third trimesters and 6‑week postpartum. Data obtained were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20. The effect of duration of pregnancy on these variables was determined using simple linear regression and further analysis was done using Bonferroni’s post hoc test. Results: The women were aged 18–48 years, with a mean age of 30.81(±5.49) years and majority of them (61.2%) were multigravida. The duration of pregnancy varied inversely and significantly with CS (P < 0.05) and IOP (P < 0.000) with the least values recorded in the third trimester, while it varied directly and also significantly with CCT (P < 0.000) with the highest value obtained in the third trimester. A negative correlation that was significant only in third trimester was found between CCT and IOP (P < 0.02) and CS (P < 0.03). Conclusion: There was a progressive increase in CCT with a corresponding decrease in CS and IOP across the trimesters of pregnancy, but these changes reversed 6‑week postpartum.

Keywords: Central corneal thickness, cornea sensitivity, intraocular pressure, pregnancy

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