dot and blot haemorrhages (background diabetic retinopathy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

This is the most common type of diabetic retinopathy affecting 14% of diabetics (1).

  • the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy reported that background diabetic retinopathy (microaneurysms and haemorrhages) was present in nearly all subjects with type 1 diabetes of 20 years' duration, and in 80% of those with type 2 diabetes of a similar duration (2).
  • pathology is intraretinal
  • lesions are often situated between the main temporal arterial arcades.

Background diabetic retinopathy is graded as level R1 in the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) grading criteria (3)