Retinitis classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ilan Dock, B.S.


Retinitis may be classified according to the underlying cause for the disease. There are two major classifications of underlying causes of retinitis, they are genetic disorders and infectious agents. The underlying cause for the disease may be established based on clinical presentation and manifestation of symptoms.[1][2]


Genetic Disorders

Classification Clinical Manifestations
  • Occurs early on during the clinical course of Retinitis Pigmentosa.
  • Night blindness occurs due to the loss of rod cell function.
  • Nyctalopia can be an indicator of the eventually clinical severity of the complications associated with retinitis.
  • Early onset of severe complications typically indicates more severe complications later on during the clinical course.[2]
Fundus disorders
Visual acuity disorder
Sector RP
  • Changes may be observed in specific halves or quadrants of the fundus
  • Less severe defects in the visual field
  • Sectorial disease with the long term potential of widespread disease[3]
Retinitis pigmentosa progression with Pregnancy
  • Women previously diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa may report an overall decrease in vision during pregnancy.[2]

Infectious Agents

Infectious Agent Clinical Manifestations
  • Physical evidence of a cytomegalovirus presence in one of both eyes will generally clinical present in the form of lesions, adjacent retinal vessels.
  • These lesions may impinge upon the fovea and the optic nerve. Furthermore they are usually discovered in close proximity to both.
  • Further extending lesions may be present in close proximity to the vortex veins as well as the ora serrata.[1]

Candida albicans

Aspergillus fumigatus

  • Yellow subretinal infiltrates
  • Retinal infiltrates
  • Fungal hyphae are located throughout the eye - suggestive of pulmonary involvement[1]

Cryptococcus neoformans



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Infectious Retinitis: A Review. YACHNA AHUJA, MD · STEVEN M. COUCH, MD · RAYMUND R. RAZONABLE, MD · SOPHIE J. BAKRI, MD. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Retinitis Pigmentosa. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Retinitis Pigmentosa. U.S. National Library of Medicine.