Maternal ophthalmic artery Doppler velocimetry in normotensive pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders


      OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to compare maternal ophthalmic artery pulsatility index values in normotensive pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders. STUDY DESIGN: The ophthalmic artery in 17 normotensive nonpregnant women, 29 normotensive pregnant women, 9 patients with mild preeclampsia, 6 with severe preeclampsia, 6 with transient hypertension, and 9 with chronic hypertension was studied with color Doppler flow imaging and pulsed Doppler ultrasonography. The mean arterial blood pressure and the ophthalmic artery pulsatility index were calculated in each group. RESULTS: The pulsatility index (1.17 ± 0.08) in severe preeclampsia was lowest among the groupsp < 0.05), whereas that (2.92 ± 0.59) in normotensive pregnant women was highest among the groups(p < 0.05). The pulsatility index (1.47 ± 0.30) in mild preeclampsia was significantly lower than that (1.89 ± 0.27) in transient hypertension (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in pulsatility index between mild preeclampsia and chronic hypertension (1.69 ± 0.49) or between transient hypertension and chronic hypertension. The pulsatility index inversely correlated well with the mean arterial blood pressure (R2 = 0.645, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the lower pulsatility index should be interpreted as orbital vascular vasodilation, indicating orbital hyperperfusion or hyperemia. Changes in pulsatility index in the ophthalmic artery may be indicative of similar changes in other cerebral vessels. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997;177:174-8)


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Lindheimer MD
        • Katz AI.
        Current concepts: hypertension in pregnancy.
        N Engl J Med. 1985; 313: 675-680
        • Chesley LC.
        Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
        Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York1978
        • Gant NF
        • Worley RJ.
        Hypertension in pregnancy: concepts and management.
        Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York1980
        • Lindheimer MD
        • Katz AI.
        Hypertension and pregnancy.
        in: 2nd ed. Hypertension. McGraw-Hill, New York1983: 889-913
        • Ferris TE.
        How should hypertension during pregnancy be managed: an internist's approach.
        Med Clin North Am. 1984; 68: 491-503
        • Cunningham FG
        • Pritchard JA.
        How should hypertension during pregnancy be managed: experience at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
        Med Clin North Am. 1984; 68: 505-526
        • Jaffe G
        • Schatz H.
        Ocular manifestations of preeclampsia.
        Am J Ophthalmol. 1987; 103: 309-315
        • Hata T
        • Senoh D
        • Hata K
        • Kitao M.
        Ophthalmic artery velocimetry in pregnant women.
        Lancet. 1992; 340: 182-183
        • Hata T
        • Senoh D
        • Hata K
        • Kitao M.
        Ophthalmic artery velocimetry in preeclampsia.
        Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1995; 40: 32-35
        • Erickson SJ
        • Hendrix LE
        • Massaro BM
        • Harris GJ
        • Lewandowski MF
        • Foley WD
        • et al.
        Color Doppler flow imaging of the normal and abnormal orbit.
        Radiology. 1989; 173: 511-516
        • Easterling TR
        • Benedetti TJ.
        Preeclampsia: a hyperdynamic disease model.
        Am J Obstet Gyneeol. 1989; 160: 1447-1453
        • Kuo DM
        • Chiu TH
        • Hsieh TT.
        Maternal renal artery Doppler flow-velocity waveform in preeclampsia: a preliminary report.
        J Reprod Med. 1993; 38: 189-192
        • Zunker P
        • Ley-Pozo J
        • Louwen F
        • Sehuierer G
        • Holzgreve W
        • Ringelstein EB.
        Cerebral hemodynamics in pre-eclampsia/eclampsia syndrome.
        Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 1995; 6: 411-415
        • Paulson OB
        • Strandgaard S
        • Edvinsson L.
        Cerebral autoregulation.
        Cerebrovasc Brain Metab Rev. 1990; 2: 161-192