IU School of Optometry Continuing Education
Retinal Vascular Disease
58 million Americans are hypertensive.
The retinal vasculature allows a unique opportunity to observe the damage caused by hypertension. There are many associated retinal findings:
Malignant hypertension is not a separate entity but is merely advanced hypertension with associated secondary complications. Ocular findings are severe and include exudative edema and papilledema. Very poor prognosis.
The choroidal vasculature is also highly susceptible to hypertensive damage. Common findings include chorio-retinal atrophy with pigment disturbances (Elschnig's spots) and coalesced areas of chorio-retinal atrophy (Siegrist's streaks). Significant asymmetry often indicative of carotid obstruction.
There is no ocular treatment for hypertensive retinopathy; manage by controlling systemic disease.
Go to: Retinal Vascular Disease CE Table of Contents