Roth spots (white-centred retinal haemorrhages) were classically described as septic emboli lodged in the retina of patients with subacute bacterial endocarditis. Indeed many have considered Roth spots pathognomonic for this condition. More recent histological evidence suggests, however, that they are not foci of bacterial abscess. Instead, they are nonspecific and may be found in many other diseases. A review of the histology and the pathogenesis of these white-centred haemorrhages will be provided, along with the work-up of the differential diagnosis.
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