Hollenhorst plaque

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Hollenhorst plaque
PMC4807534 12886 2016 209 Fig1 HTML (1).png
Presence of Hollenhorst plaque in the superotemporal vessel

A Hollenhorst plaque is a cholesterol embolus that is seen in a blood vessel of the retina.

Signs and symptoms

The clinical presentation is usually asymptomatic[1]


It is usually seen when a physician performs ophthalmoscopy, during which a plaque will appear bright, refractile, and yellow. It is caused by an embolus lodged within the retinal vessel that originated from an atheromatous plaque in a more proximal (upstream) vessel, usually the internal carotid artery. It is often an indication of a previous ischemic episode in the eye and is a sign of severe atherosclerosis.


The evaluation of Hollenhorst plaque involves fluorescein angiography[1]


The most important step in management is to identify and treat the originating plaque to prevent further embolization.[citation needed]


The phenomenon is named after the American ophthalmologist Robert Hollenhorst who first described their significance in 1961.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kaufman, Evan J.; Mahabadi, Navid; Patel, Bhupendra C. (2022). "Hollenhorst Plaque". StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Archived from the original on 4 March 2022. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  2. Hollenhorst RW (1961). "Significance of bright plaques in the retinal arterioles". JAMA. 178: 23–29. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040400025005. PMC 1316410. PMID 13908419.

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