Pregnancy and Diabetic Retinopathy
In 1950 Beetham reported on the occurrence of retinopathy in a group of 200 pregnant diabetics. He found that diabetic retinopathy deteriorated during pregnancy, and his results were supported by data from further studies (Oakley 1953; Stephens et al. 1963). In 12 patients with proliferative retinopathy, Beetham observed that all experienced visual deterioration and four progressed to blindness. Later studies by White (1965) confirmed that both haemorrhagic and proliferative retinopathy worsened during pregnancy and that there was a tendency towards regression of the retinopathy (i.e. improvement) after delivery, an observation made anecdotally in two cases of longstanding diabetes by Lawrence in 1948. Beetham (1950) advocated that patients with proliferative retinopathy should avoid pregnancy, and terminations should be offered to pregnant diabetics on the basis that more than 50% of patients with any degree of retinopathy had a reduced chance of a successful pregnancy and all patients with proliferative retinopathy at the onset of pregnancy experienced perinatal mortality plus visual loss.
KeywordsHeparin Retina Angiotensin Luminal Norepinephrine
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