Patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) often have variable numbers of vitreous and anterior chamber cells and can develop macular edema. Features of RP that differentiate it from uveitis include nyctalopia, positive family history, and, on fundus examination, waxy disc pallor, attenuation of arterioles, and a bone-spicule pattern of pigmentary changes in the mid-periphery. Electroretinographic responses of patients with RP often appear severely depressed or extinguished, even early in the disease. However, these findings can be found in late posterior uveitis, making differentiation between the entities very difficult in some cases. Late-stage birdshot chorioretinopathy can mimic RP (see BCSC Section 12, Retina and Vitreous, for additional information).
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 9 - Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.