Orange-yellow spots, usually found at branching sites of retinal arterioles. They are due to necrosis and ulceration of atheromatous, cholesterin-containing emboli in the carotid arteries which discharge into the circulation. They do not usually obstruct the retinal arterioles and as such do not cause visual symptoms. However, they indicate the possible development of larger emboli (fibrinoplatelets) that may temporarily obstruct the retinal circulation and cause amaurosis fugax, and may even presage a myocardial infarction or stroke. See corneal arcus; atheroma; xanthelasma.
Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. © 2009 Butterworth-Heinemann