International Ophthalmology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 103–106

Purtscher’s retinopathy in pre-eclampsia: a blinding combination

Case Report


Blindness in pregnancy can occur due to cortical infarcts, retinal vascular occlusions and retinal detachment. Purtscher’s retinopathy is a rare entity causing visual loss during pregnancy and has so far been reported in association with complicated labor. We report here on a case of Purtscher’s retinopathy leading to bilateral blindness in a pre-eclamptic multigravida after an uncomplicated spontaneous delivery. The patient had no visual recovery after 3 months postpartum. Poorly controlled pregnancy-induced hypertension coupled with the hypercoagulable state of pregnancy probably led to a compromised optic nerve microvasculature and loss of retinal autoregulation. Subsequently the acute event of parturition triggered a complement-mediated leucocyte embolization to this already compromised microvasculature resulting in Purtscher’s retinopathy.


Purtscher’s retinopathy Pregnancy Pre-eclampsia Irreversible blindness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guru Nanak Eye Centre, Maulana Azad Medical College and Affiliated HospitalsNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.New DelhiIndia

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