Arteriosclerotic retinopathy: Retinal disease caused by arteriosclerosis. In this condition, the arterioles (small arteries) in the retina become partially blocked because of thickening of their walls. Using an ophthalmoscope, a doctor can see the thickened arterioles and other indications of diminished blood supply to the retina. (The characteristic features include narrowed tortuous arterioles with a "copper wire" appearance, scattered small hemorrhages and sharp-edged deposits with no edema around them.) Arteriosclerotic retinopathy is a danger signal that the blood vessels in the body are arteriosclerotic and that steps are badly needed to prevent the progression of the disease process.
Last Editorial Review: 9/27/2012