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Yellow-White Things in the Retina

Yellow-White Thing Distinctive Ophthalmoscopic Features Mechanism Common Associated Conditions
Hard Exudate Deep yellow with sharp margins, often circinate Leakage from pre-capillary arterioles Diabetes, hypertension, von Hippel Lindau disease, radiation
Cotton Wool Spot Fluffy gray-white; usually near optic disc Micro-infarction Hypertension, diabetes, connective tissue disease, HIV
Retinal Infiltrate Near retinal vessels Clump of leukocytes, sometimes forming granulomas, with organisms and necrotic retina Sarcoid; leukemia; infection with candida, CMV, herpes simplex or zoster, lues
Retinal Drusen Clusters of yellow-orange spots, usually centered around fovea Metabolic debris from retinal pigment epithelium Age-related macular degeneration
Chorioretinal Atrophy Mostly white often with flecks of black pigment Focal absence of retina and choroid Toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, trauma, photocoagulation, congenital
Intraluminal Plaque Found at bifurcations; yellow means cholesterol-fibrin ("Hollenhorst plaque") white means calcium or talc Embolism Cervical carotid atherostenosis, calcified cardiac valve, IV drug abuse
Myelinated Nerve Fibers Feathery white clump usually connected to optic disc Extension of myelin onto retinal ganglion cell axons None
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