Estrogen- and Progesterone-Induced Variation in Corneal Parameters According to Hormonal Status

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine the effects of estrogen and progesterone on corneal thickness, curvature, and biomechanics in healthy corneas according to hormonal status.

Methods:

The study included four groups of females: group A (menstruating, not pregnant, not lactating, and not menopausal; n=100), group B (pregnant; n=50), group C (lactating; n=50), and group D (menopausal; n=50). Group A was subdivided according to age, as subgroup A15–25 (age 15–25 years) and subgroup A>25 (age >25 years). Blood estradiol and progesterone levels were measured in each participant. All the participants underwent a full ophthalmologic examination, including corneal thickness and corneal topography measurement, and evaluation of corneal biomechanical properties.

Results:

The corneal resistance factor and anterior corneal flat keratometry values were significantly higher in group D (P=0.040 and P=0.026, respectively) than in the other three groups. Posterior corneal steep keratometry values were significantly higher in subgroup A>25 during the preovulatory phase than ovulatory and postovulatory phases (P=0.012). In group B, there was a significant negative correlation between gestational week and intraocular pressure (IOP) (r=−0.322, P=0.024). Corneal volume was significantly higher during the early postpartum period than the late postpartum period in group C (P=0.028). Intraocular pressure, Goldman-correlated IOP, and corneal-compensated IOP differed significantly between the groups (P<0.05).

Conclusions:

Blood levels of estrogen and progesterone were associated with variations in IOP, but estrogen and progesterone did not have a consistent effect on topographic parameters or biomechanical properties in healthy corneas.

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