The hypothesis that an occlusion of the central retinal artery is an essential prerequisite for haemorrhage formation after central retinal vein obstruction has been investigated by examining the fundus changes in patients with a cilio-retinal arterial circulation; the findings are at variance with the 'combined occlusion hypothesis'. Comparisons were made between the pathological features in two retinal capillary beds with independent sources of arterial supply--namely, the central retinal and cilio-retinal arteries--but with an obstructed venous drainage channel common to both--namely, the central retinal vein. The importance of intraluminal pressure changes (as distinct from perfusion changes) in the causation of haemorrhages and oedema after venous occlusion is stressed, and the role of arterial disease in the pathogenesis of venous occlusions is distinguished from its role in determining the sequelae of such occlusions.
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