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CHAPTER 127 – Examination of the Retina: Ophthalmoscopy and Fundus Biomicroscopy

Thomas R. Friberg


The essentials of the clinical examination techniques used to evaluate the ocular fundus have changed little over the past decade. While additional ancillary testing and methods have been developed, a thorough funduscopic examination remains a mainstay of clinical practice. Excellent and efficient retinal examination skills are critical to virtually all ophthalmologists, and this chapter explains the principles of this evaluation.

A thorough examination of the ocular fundus requires excellent powers of observation and clinical experience with ophthalmoscopy and biomicroscopy. Some individuals have almost a natural ability to use these specialized instruments to discover and document subtle retinal abnormalities. Most have considerably more difficulty, however. For instance, a novice might struggle and then fially see scattered retinal hemorrhages in the fundus of a patient's eye but …