Fifty male rats were made diabetic by a single injection of streptozotocin and were killed at periods varying from 1 to 12 mo. Ten saline-injected rats and three rats treated with 3-O-methylglucose and streptozotocin served as controls. Intraluminal changes in retinal vessels were studied by electron microscopy. In diabetic rats maintained for 9–12 mo, microthrombus formation was observed in the various sized retinal vessels at the histologic and ultrastructural level. The microthrombi were mainly composed of aggregated platelets and fibrin strands. However, there was no definite evidence of detachment or loss of the endothelial cells. This microthrombus formation may play an important role in the development of diabetic retinopathy.

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