dot and blot haemorrhages (background diabetic retinopathy)

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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)


Last reviewed 01/2018