The Value of Fundoscopy in General Practice

Irini P Chatziralli*, 1, 2, Evgenia D Kanonidou 1, Petros Keryttopoulos 3, Prodromos Dimitriadis 3, Leonidas E Papazisis 1
1 Department of Ophthalmology, General Hospital of Veroia, Veroia, Greece
2 Eye Department, Barts and the London NHS Trust, London, UK
3 Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital of Veroia, Veroia, Greece

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© Chatziralli et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 28 Papanastasiou street, Agios Dimitrios, Athens, 17342, Greece; Tel: 00306973046326; Fax: 00302109312008; E-mails:,



Many of the common systemic diseases present characteristic changes in the fundus of the eye, but fundoscopy is often performed by an ophthalmologist. Our purpose was to assess the value of fundoscopy for the general practitioners (GPs) regarding the diagnosis and management of the cases which they face in daily practice.


689 patients were referred by GPs to the outpatient ophthalmology department for fundoscopy during the year 2010. The causes of this referral, the results of ophthalmoscopy and its significance in the final diagnosis were recorded and analyzed.


In 22 patients (3.1%), fundoscopy revealed optic disc edema. In 7 patients with head trauma (9.7%), fundoscopy revealed intravitreous haemorrhage and Berlin edema. From the patients with photopsias or floaters, 5 (10.2%) had retinal detachment. Finally, in cases with diabetes mellitus or hypertension, ophthalmoscopy was very important to detect the existence and grade the degree of diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy, if they appeared, and as a result to evaluate the prognosis of the disease.


Fundoscopy is fundamental for the GP, as it may help to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of many common diseases. Nevertheless, there are clinical entities where ophthalmoscopy should be performed by an ophthalmologist, in order to be more specific and accurate, and GP should be able to recognise these cases.

Keywords: Fundoscopy, general practice, ophthalmoscopy.