Abstract Saccular dilations arising from one side of the retinal capillaries are part of the typical pathology of diabetic retinopathy and are known as capillary microaneurysms. They were first described by Nettleship1 in 1888. However, it seems that little attention was paid to Nettleship's discovery and capillary microaneurysms were rediscovered by Ballantyne and Loewenstein2 in 1944. This rediscovery resulted in great interest and an extensive number of papers concerning the structure, development, and significance of the microaneurysms in diabetic retinopathy. Outstanding are those of Ballantyne,3,4 Friedenwald,5-7 Ashton,8-12 and Pope.13 Several theories have been suggested to explain the development of diabetic retinal microaneurysms. Ballantyne3,4 considered a combination of stasis and increase of venous pressure caused by thrombosis of smaller retinal veins and additional local weakening of the capillary wall caused by endothelial degeneration as responsible for the saccular dilation. He observed the deposition of fat References 1. Nettleship, E.: Chronic Retinitis with Formation of Blood Vessels in the Vitreous in a Patient with Diabetes: One Eye Lost by Result of Chronic Iritis Accompanied by the Formation of Large Vessels in the Iris , Trans. Ophthal. Soc. U.K. 8: 159-161, 1888. 2. Ballantyne, A. J., and Loewenstein, A.: Retinal Microaneurysms and Punctate Hemorrhages , Brit. J. Ophthal. 28:593, 1944.Crossref 3. Ballantyne, A. J.: Retinal Changes Associated with Diabetes and with Hypertension , Arch. Ophthal. 33:97, 1945.Crossref 4. Ballantyne, A. J.: The State of the Retina in Diabetes Mellitus , Trans. Ophthal. Soc. U.K. 66:503, 1946. 5. Friedenwald, J. S.: A New Approach to Some Problems of Retinal Vascular Disease , Amer. J. Ophthal. 32:487, 1949. 6. Friedenwald, J. S.: Diabetic Retinopathy: The Fourth Francis I. Proctor Lecture , Amer. J. Ophthal. 33:1187, 1950. 7. Friedenwald, J. S.: Diabetic Retinopathy , J.A.M.A. 150:969, 1952.Crossref 8. Ashton, N.: Vascular Changes in Diabetes with Particular Reference to Retinal Vessels , Brit. J. Ophthal. 33:407, 1949.Crossref 9. Ashton, N.: Injection of the Retinal Vascular System in the Enucleated Eye in Diabetic Retinopathy , Brit. J. Ophthal. 34:38, 1950.Crossref 10. Ashton, N.: Discussion on Diabetic Retinopathy , Proc. Roy. Soc. Med. 44:747, 1951. 11. Ashton, N.: Arteriolar Development in Diabetic Retinopathy , Brit. J. Ophthal. 37:282, 1953.Crossref 12. Ashton, N.: Diabetic Retinopathy, a New Approach , Lancet 2:625, 1959.Crossref 13. Pope, C. H., Jr.: Retinal Capillary Microaneurysms , Diabetes 9:8, 1960. 14. Bloodworth, J. M. B.: The Contribution of Electron Microscopy to the Problem of Diabetic Retinopathy, read at the East Central Section of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology , Ohio , 1961. 15. Wolter, J. R.: Diabetic Retinopathy, read at the 1960 National Meeting of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology, Miami; Amer. J. Ophthal., to be published. 16. Toussaint, M. D.: Etude histologique sur les coupes seriees de cent et trente retines diabetiques mises a plat , Bull. Soc. Belg. Ophtal. 123:530, 1960. 17. Ashton, N.: Personal communication to the author. 18. Wolter, J. R.: The Human Optic Papilla: A Demonstration of New Anatomic and Pathologic Findings , Amer. J. Ophthal. 44:48 (Oct., (Pt. 2) ) 1957. 19. Kuwabara, T., and Cogan, D. G.: Studies of Retinal Vascular Patterns , Arch. Ophthal. 64: 904, 1960.Crossref 20. Scharenberg, K., and Zeman, W.: Zur Leistungsfaehigkeit und zur Technik der Hortega'schen Silberkarbonatmethoden , Psychiat. 188: 430, 1952. 21. Wolter, J. R.: Ein Beitrag zur Pathologie der Augenveraenderungen beim Diabetes , Klin. Mbl. Augenheilk. 129:505, 1956. 22. Becker, B., and Post, L. T., Jr.: Retinal Vein Occlusion, Clinical, and Experimental Observations , Amer. J. Ophthal. 34:677, 1951. 23. Wolter, J. R.: Retinal Pathology Following Central Vein Occlusion, Brit. J. Ophthal., to be published.
Archives of Ophthalmology – American Medical Association
Published: Jun 1, 1961