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November 7, 1980

Cortical Blindness and Homonymous Hemianopia in the Postpartum Period

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Dr Beal) and Neurosurgery (Dr Chapman), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and the Harvard University Medical School, Cambridge, Mass (Drs Beal and Chapman).

JAMA. 1980;244(18):2085-2087. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310180051036

CEREBRAL venous thrombosis is a known complication of the puerperium. Cortical blindness has not been reported as a sole manifestation of this syndrome. We describe one patient with cortical blindness and two with homonymous hemianopia attributed to puerperal cerebral venous thrombosis.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  A 28-year-old woman had development of a severe occipital headache immediately after an uneventful pregnancy and delivery. Four days later, she was unable to see when she awoke from a nap and experienced the first of three typical grand mal seizures. Her history included a severe left-sided throbbing headache five years earlier, which had been preceded by five minutes of partial loss of vision with "spots and wavy lines."Findings from general physical examination with special attention to the optic fundi were normal. The pupils reacted briskly and symmetrically to light. There was no perception of light or motion, and opticokinetic nystagmus was absent.