Many clinical entities may be associated with the development of peripheral retinal neovascularization. In this paper, we review the mechanisms of normal and abnormal angiogenesis in the retina. Specific disease entities associated with peripheral proliferative retinopathies are discussed. These include vascular disease with ischemia, inflammatory diseases with possible ischemia and a variety of miscellaneous causes, including hereditary diseases and tumors. Basic principles for the clinical evaluation of patients with retinal neovascularization are described. Finally, the treatments for retinal neovascularization, including cryopexy and local and panretinal photocoagulation are reviewed, and techniques and possible mechanisms of the beneficial results of treatment are described.