Valsalva retinopathy in pregnancy: A case report

Abdullah S. Al-Mujaini*, Carolina C. Montana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Valsalva retinopathy is a unilateral or bilateral condition that occurs when increased intra-thoracic or intra-abdominal pressure transmitted to the eye causes a sharp rise in the intra-ocular venous pressure, and rupture of superficial retinal capillaries. The patient often gives a history of a recent strenuous physical act, which could have increased the intra-thoracic pressure. Pregnancy is known to be a risk factor for Valsalva retinopathy. Case presentation: A 23-year-old woman in her seventh month of pregnancy presented with a history of decreased vision in her left eye of one-week duration. Examination of the affected eye showed best corrected visual acuity of 20/50, and fundus examination revealed a pre-retinal hemorrhage located in the macula. Based on clinical findings, the diagnosis of Valsalva retinopathy was made. Conclusion: Retinal hemorrhages can be generated by Valsalva maneuvers. Pregnancy is a known risk factor for Valsalva retinopathy; however, the diagnosis should be made only after excluding other causes of retinal hemorrhages. It is a self-limited event. We report a case of Valsalva retinopathy complicating normal pregnancy and confirm that, to date, there is no evidence to indicate that there is a risk of recurrence following spontaneous vaginal delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - Apr 7 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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