Letter | Published:

Intramural Vessels in the Retina (Vasa vasorum)

Naturevolume 160page124 (1947) | Download Citation



Investigating ocular tissue of man and of some animals by a clearing method during the last seven years, I have found intramural vessels in retinal arteries and veins. They were discovered in bulk specimens, their existence proved later on by reconstruction of serial sections. Intramural vessels in the retina run within the wall parallel to the lumen or encircling it or in spirals around it. They often branch and the twigs frequently reunite. I have not found them so far in the retinal vessels of young healthy human beings. Intramural vessels have been described in atheromatous diseased coronary arteries of the heart1. The purpose of these newly built retinal vessels in some cases may be to bypass an obstacle in the bloodstream. In other cases with intramural vessels, however, the retinal arteries show hyaline sclerosis with preservation of the lumen. It is possible that in the latter case the intramural vessels act as vasa vasorum and improve the insufficient nourishment of the changed vessel wall. They are considered as an attempt at healing of the sclerotic process. A detailed account of these findings will be published elsewhere.

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  1. 1

    Winternitz, Thomas, and Le Compte, âœBiology of Arteriosclerosisâ (Ch. C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill., 1938).

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  1. Tennent Institute, University, Glasgow



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