The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between hypertensive retinopathy and the severity of pre-eclampsia. Forty women with pre-eclampsia, mean age 29.1 ( 7.4; range, 19–44) years, were retrospectively analyzed. They were treated at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Clinical Hospital Split, from January 1997 to December 1999. The mean age of gestation was 36.0 2.8 weeks (range, 28–39). Pre-eclampsia was classified according to Goecke. Based on the ophthalmoscopic fundus examinations the patients were divided into four groups, according to Keith–Wagner classification system of grading retinal changes. Of 40 analyzed women, 18 (45%) had ophthalmologically verified hypertensive retinopathy. Ten of them were classified as grade I, six as grade II and two as grade III. Twenty-two patients had mild preeclampsia, ten patients had moderate pre-eclampsia, and eight patients had severe preeclampsia. A statistically significant correlation (t-test) was found between the degree of hypertensive retinopathy and patient age, Apgar score, trophism, Goecke’s index, proteinuria, systolic and diastolic pressure (P < 0.001) and edema (P = 0.01). The degree of hypertensive retinopathy was directly proportional with the severity of pre-eclampsia and significant correlation was found between them (r = 0.338, p = 0.033). These findings showed that the degree of hypertensive retinopathy in women with pre-eclampsia is a valid and reliable prognostic factor in determining the severity of the pre-eclampsia. Therefore, it can be concluded that the examination of the fundus is a valuable and necessary diagnostic procedure in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia.