THE MERCK MANUAL: The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapymultimedia

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  • Hypertensive Retinopathy
  • Hypertensive Retinopathy—Moderate (Vessel Changes and Cotton-Wool Spots)

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    Hypertensive Retinopathy—Moderate (Vessel Changes and Cotton-Wool Spots)

    Moderate hypertensive retinopathy is characterized by thinned, straight arteries; intraretinal hemorrhages; and yellow hard exudates (top). Cotton-wool spots (bottom) are white and have indistinct borders. They are an additional feature of moderate hypertensive retinopathy and are caused by focal axonal swelling of the retinal nerve fiber layer as a result of small-vessel occlusion.

    Images courtesy of Prof. J. Wollensak via the Online Journal of Ophthalmology (www.onjoph.org).

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