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Roth’s spots: righting a historical wrong
  1. Y Y Mishriki
  1. Penn State University College of Medicine, USA; ymishriki{at}

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    A recent case report described “Roth’s spots” as an unusual presentation of HIV.1 Unfortunately, white centred retinal haemorrhages have popularly come to be known as Roth’s spots despite the fact that Roth never described such lesions. According to Sapira, who reviewed the original German manuscripts,2 Roth described both retinal red spots (which were first described by Bowman) as well as retinal white spots in patients with septic retinitis. He never described white centred haemorrhages, which were first described by Litten in 1978, six years later. While I am not advocating that the eponym change to “Litten’s spots” it seems to me that historical accuracy is important if only to give credit where it is due.


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