The eyes of a 72-year-old woman with a history of two branch retinal vein occlusions involving the left eye, were obtained postmortem and studied histopathologically. Prior to her death, she had been enrolled in the multicentered, prospective, randomized clinical trial on branch vein occlusion and treated with peripheral argon laser photocoagulation for disc neovascularization. Routine fluorescein angiograms and fundus photographs were available for clinical correlation. Despite photocoagulation, the patient had frequent recurrent episodes of vitreous hemorrhage. On histologic examination, both venous occlusions were found at arteriovenous crossings and associated with moderately sclerotic retinal arterioles. One occlusion was recanalized. Retinal inner ischemic atrophy was observed distal to the site of both venous occlusions and corresponded to areas of nonperfusion. Cystoid macular edema was not present. Three areas of neovascularization were found; one at the optic nerve head, one at the peripapillary retina, and one at the fovea. It is likely the patient's repeated vitreous hemorrhages were from one or all three areas of neovascularization demonstrated histopathologically.
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