The authors described the use of scanning electron microscopy after cryofracture to analyze rat retinas after experimental ischemia-reperfusion sequence. In Sprague-Dawley albino rats, intraocular hypertony by cannulation of anterior chamber was performed for 1 h on one eye. The other eye served as control. After 48 h of reperfusion, retinas were dissected. They were frozen and fractured before ultrastructural analysis by a scanning electron microscope. In the ischemic eyes the thickness of the photoreceptors layer was reduced, through internal disorganization resulting in misalignment of rods. There was swelling of the outer segments, a loss of adhesion between segments and superficial necrosis. Scanning electron microscopy after cryofracture permitted an analysis of the external morphology of retinal cells and intercellular components, especially the outer layers.