SUE FORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUE FORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Retinal embolism. Ophthalmoscopy view of the retina of the eye, showing cholesterol embolism. Retinal embolism (also called occlusion) is the blockage of blood vessels to the retina, in this case by excessive cholesterol particles in the bloodstream. Red blood vessels are seen branching from the optic disc (yellow, at centre), many with white cholesterol emboli obstructing blood flow. This has lead to haemorrhage (bleeding) seen as diffuse red areas (at far left). White spots throughout the image are also signs of blood vessel disease. If major arteries within the eye are affected, the result is immediate sight-loss.
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