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May 1933


Arch Ophthalmol. 1933;9(5):829-839. doi:10.1001/archopht.1933.00830010852011

Diabetic retinitis is a term applied to an ophthalmoscopic appearance of the retina of a diabetic patient in whom there are exudates, hemorrhages or both. The term is a misnomer, since there is no actual inflammation and the findings are not pathognomonic of diabetes. Dabney (1926) expressed the belief that this condition is a distinct entity, while Wagener and Wilder agreed with the vast majority that it never occurs in uncomplicated cases. It was only four years after Helmholtz introduced the ophthalmoscope that Jaeger (1855) described the first case on record. Fourteen years later (1869) this same author described the condition again in a man only 22 years of age. In the plates accompanying the latter case, the author definitely differentiates diabetic retinitis from that associated with albuminuria.

It remained for Hirschberg, in 1890, to classify the various types as follows :

  1. The characteristic inflammation of the central retina with small

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