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Diabetic Retinopathy in a 56-Year-OldMan

Diabetic Retinopathy in a 56-Year-OldMan

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of legal blindness in persons between the ages of 20 and 65 years. In this 56-year-old man with a 20-year history of type 2 diabetes, multiple, scattered intraretinal (dot-blot) hemorrhages and superficial nerve fiber layer (splinter) hemorrhages can be seen. An occasional Roth spot--an intraretinal hemorrhage with a white center that represents a fibrin thrombus which occludes a ruptured blood vessel--is also evident. Numerous yellow, waxy, hard exudates are seen between the inner plexiform and inner nuclear layers of the retina. Cotton-wool spots are also present, although no neovascularization is present. Patients with diabetes need to have their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist at least yearly to monitor for ocular complications. (Case and photo courtesy of Leonid Skorin, Jr, DO.)

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