Permanent blindness as a complication of pregnancy induced hypertension

Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Nov;100(5 Pt 1):943-5. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(02)02250-0.


Background: Visual disturbances are common symptoms of preeclampsia, but blindness remains a rare phenomenon.

Case: A 21-year-old secundagravida was admitted at 3547 weeks' gestation with a diagnosis of preeclampsia. She labored on her second hospital day and underwent a cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal status. On postoperative day 1, she reported blurring of her vision that progressed rapidly to complete vision loss. Ophthalmological examination revealed ischemic retinal changes bilaterally; radiographic examination showed lesions in the lateral geniculate bodies, consistent with infarcts, as the possible etiologies of her blindness. Five months later, the patient has not regained her sight and remains legally blind.

Conclusion: Complete amaurosis is a rare complication of pregnancy demanding immediate ophthalmological and neurological evaluation as well as radiographic studies of the brain.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blindness / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology