Branch and hemisphere vein occlusion were produced in rhesus monkeys by argon laser photocoagulation. The following observations were made: (1) Immediately after occlusion there was venous dilatation, delayed filling of the artery, delayed drainage by the occluded vein, and capillary leakage. (2) Two patterns of evolution were identified within the first week. In some animals the fundus changes resolved and the retina returned to normal, while in others there was progressive retinal capillary closure. (3) Those animals destined to have capillary closure had diffuse or cluster retinal haemorrhages at 24 hours. (4) Capillary closure took place over 1 week and was usually complete over large areas of retina. (5) Retinal atrophy and major vessel changes occurred over several weeks. (6) Retinal revascularisation occurred in those areas of closure, though this was often limited. It was concluded that the early changes mimicked those seen in human retinal vein occlusion, though persistent retinal oedema and preretinal neovascularisation were not identified.
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