Bear tracks on the retina

Bear tracks on the retina

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Credit: PAUL PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bear tracks on the retina of the eye, ophthalmoscope image. The bear tracks (dark blotches) are due to congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (CHRPE). The condition is benign, although it may cause small visual field defects. It is commonly seen in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). This is a condition in which polyps (growths) appear in the large intestine, which invariably become cancerous in middle age. If the bear tracks of CHRPE are detected, the patient must be referred for a gastrointestinal examination to check for polyps. If found, the affected part of the intestine is usually surgically removed.

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