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Dot and blot haemorrhages (background diabetic retinopathy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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This is the earliest stage of diabetic retinopathy; very common in people with diabetes.

  • 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 (1).
  • 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 (2).

Reference:

  1. Shotliff  K. and Duncan  G.  Diabetic retinopathy: summary of grading and management criteria. Pract Diab Int, 2006;23: 418–420
  2. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) 2012. Diabetic retinopathy guidelines

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