The development of choroidal neovascularization in pregnancy

Retina. 1999;19(6):520-4. doi: 10.1097/00006982-199911000-00007.


Purpose: To evaluate the possible association between the development of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and pregnancy.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the clinical records of three patients who were pregnant at the time a choroidal neovascular membrane (CNVM) was diagnosed. The clinical presentations and treatment of the CNVM occurring in association with the pregnancies are described.

Results: Each patient had a decrease in visual acuity during her pregnancy: one in the first trimester, one in the second trimester, and one in the third trimester. Two patients were diagnosed with CNV related to presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (POHS) and one with an idiopathic CNVM. The two-patients with POHS showed progression of CNV after childbirth. All patients received laser photocoagulation directly to the site of the CNV. The two patients with ocular histoplasmosis experienced recurrence after treatment; one received further photocoagulation treatment, and the other underwent vitrectomy with removal of the CNVM.

Conclusions: Pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period may be associated with development or recurrence of CNV in POHS or idiopathic cases. This may be related to hormonal changes during pregnancy, or the cases described may reflect only a coincidental association. This report discusses possible causal factors and mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / diagnosis
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / surgery
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / complications
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / surgery
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Histoplasmosis / complications
  • Histoplasmosis / diagnosis
  • Histoplasmosis / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitrectomy