Sudden death of a 58-year-old woman who developed ocular toxoplasmosis while receiving long-term systemic corticosteroid therapy permitted correlation of early histopathologic lesions with their clinical counterpart recorded on fundus photographs. A wide-spread, paravascular, whitish, retinal opacification dominated the initial clinical picture. These lesions were represented histologically by focal zones of inner retinal necrosis located adjacent to arteries and veins. No associated inflammatory cell infiltrate was present, and numerous viable free Toxoplasma organisms were consistently present at the interface between necrotic and healthy retina. Electron microscopy of formaldehyde-fixed tissue provided a useful technique for confirming the identity of the infecting organism in the absence of serologic or culture data.