Transient central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) was produced in 63 eyes of rhesus monkeys by lateral orbitotomy and temporary clamping of the central retinal artery (CRA) for between 15 and 270 minutes. Thirty-three eyes were examined at regular intervals for 12 to 22 weeks. Color fundus photography, fluorescein fundus angiography, electroretinography (ERG) and visual evoked response (VER) were performed before and during clamping of the CRA as well as periodically after unclamping. All the eyes were examined by light and/or electron microscopy. This study revealed that the retina suffered irreparable damage after ischemia of 105 minutes, but recovered well after ischemia of 97 minutes. As a general rule, the monkey retina can tolerate up to 100 minutes of ischemia but not more.