There are few ocular conditions that have aroused as much speculation and about which knowledge is still so meager as retinitis pigmentosa. It is generally accepted that the term retinitis is poorly applied and that the pathologic process is essentially a degenerative one. The term tapetoretinal degeneration is therefore much more appropriate. However, familiarity with the original term and common usage will doubtless maintain retinitis pigmentosa as a descriptive diagnosis, at least in ophthalmic literature.
The etiology of this condition has for many years aroused considerable controversy. The theories which have been advanced are (1) that the disease is primarily a degeneration of the neuroepithelium and (2) that it is caused by vascular sclerosis in the choroid. The consensus1 now is that the primary disturbance is in the neuroepithelium and that the choroidal and glial sclerosis is secondary. The pathogenesis of the neuroepithelial degeneration, however, is still to be