In the previous sections, we look at the topics which often appear as histological slides or pathology specimens. Sometimes, you may be asked to discuss common ocular conditions in the absence of specimens. Here are some popular topics which are often discussed without specimens:
Common questions:
Diabetic retinopathy
  • What are the consequences of hyperglycaemia on blood vessels?
  • How can diabetes mellitus affect the eye?
  • Where are the location of flame-haemorrhage, dot-and-blot 

  • haemorrhages, cotton wool spots?
  • What are the effect of hypertension, renal diseases and carotid 

  • artery diseases on diabetic retinopathy?
  • The effect of glaucoma, optic atrophy and high myopia on proliferative 

  • diabetic retinopathy?

    (Note: very often a clinical ophthalmologist is present and you are
    likely to be asked about the definition of clinically signficant macular
    oedema and the effect of diabetic control on diabetic retinopathy.)

Hypertensive retinopathy
  • What are the effects of hypertension on the blood vessels?
  • What are the histological features of malignant hypertension?
  • What are the effects of hypertension on posterior segment?

Central retinal artery occlusion 
  • What are the causes of retinal artery occlusion and what

  • laboratory tests would you perform? (This usually lead to
    a discussion of giant cell arteritis)
  • What is the incidence of cilioretinal artery?
  • How long does it take for the retinal oedema to disappear?
  • The differences between central retinal artery occlusion 

  • and ophthalmic artery occlusion.

Central retinal vein occlusion
  • What are the causes of central retinal vein occlusion and what investigations would you perform? What blood tests would you perform if the patient is 40 years of age? (This usually leads to a discussion of blood dyscrasia and clotting factor abnormalities such as protein C and S, in women SLE and antithrombophilic factor is often discussed)

Age-related macular degeneration
  • What is drusen? Is it similar to optic disc drusen?
  • How does subretinal neovascular membrane develop? 

Sympathetic ophthalmia
  • What are the risk factors for sympathetic ophthalmia?
  • What histological features are present in the post segment?

Siderosis bulbi
  • What is siderosis bulbi?
  • What are the effects of retained intraocular  iron foreign body?

Lens and glaucoma
  • What is phacolytic glaucoma and what is phacoantigenic glaucoma?

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