Twenty seven eyes treated for ischaemic central retinal vein occlusion with panretinal photocoagulation were reviewed. Prior to laser therapy anterior segment neovascularisation predominated (17 eyes) over posterior segment involvement (6 eyes). After photocoagulation anterior segment new vessels regressed or did not develop in the majority of cases. However, in five eyes previously absent posterior segment neovascularisation occurred. These results suggest that photocoagulation alters but does not eliminate retinal ischemia, thus modulating the neovascular response.