Roth’s Spots

Other know aliasesLitten’s spots

Definitionexudative, edematous hemorrhagic lesions of the retina with pale, white centers that can be composed of coagulated fibrin, platelets, infectious organisms, or neoplastic cells

Clinical Significanceone of the classic physical examination findings in bacterial endocarditis seen on fundoscopy. Further research and analysis has shown these can be present in leukemia, diabetes, and hypertensive retinopathy

Historynamed after Mortiz Roth (1839-1914), who was a Swiss pathologist and recieved his medical doctorate from University of Basel in 1864. He practiced all around Switzerland before returning to Basel as professor extraordinary of pathology in 1872, when he published his now eponymous findings in an article entitled “Uber Netzhauteffecstionen bei wundfiebren [Retinal Manifestations of wound fever]”. Dr. Roth, though, never described the classic appearance of the retinal red spot with a white center. Dr. Moritz Litten described this finding 6 years later and would coin the term we still use today.


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  • Up To Date. www.uptodate.com
  • Roth Spots – StatPearls. [article]
  • Roth M. Uber Netzhauteffecstionen bei wundfiebren [Retinal manifestations of wound fever]. Deutsch A Chir. 1872;1:471–84.
  • Litten M. Ueber akute maligne endocarditis
  • und die dabei vorkommenden retinal veranderungen.
  • Charite-Ann 1878;3:135.

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