Hypertensive retinopathy is due to hypertension. Patients with this disease should be monitored for retinopathy during regular follow-up visits with a primary care provider.
Flame hemorrhages with indistinct borders indicate that blood has accumulated in the retinal nerve fiber layer. A small rupture in a retinal blood vessel can result in this finding on fundoscopy.
Arteriovenous nicking occurs when atherosclerotic arteries compress their adjacent veins at nearly perpendicular angles. Bonnet sign is when the vein banks to one side distal to the arteriovenous crossing. Gunn sign is a tapering of the retinal vein on either side of the crossing while Salus sign is a deflection of the retinal vein as it crosses the arteriole.
Microaneurysms are saccular outpouchings of the capillary walls that can leak fluid and result in intraretinal edema and hemorrhage.
Cotton wool spots (CWS) are localized, white-yellow, "fluffy" areas of nerve fiber layer edema. This causes interruption in axoplasmic flow resulting in damage to retinal ganglion cells.
A macular star is a discrete, white-yellow lipid deposit in the posterior pole of the retina that occurs from increased vascular permeability.
Papilledema is the swelling of the optic disc head. It presents with visual blurring and can be measured with the optic cup-to-disc ratio.
The treatment for hypertensive retinopathy is focused on treating the underlying condition - hypertension. Decreasing blood pressure will slow disease progression.
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