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The oxygen utilization and, therefore, the metabolic state, of a distinctive area of the retina may be calculated from the diameter of the supplying artery and vein, the haemoglobin oxygenation, and the velocity of the blood. The first two parameters can be determined by imaging spectrometry at the patients ocular fundus. However the reflected light emerging from a vessel followed different pathways through the ocular fundus layers and the vessel embedded in the retina. The contribution of the single pathways to the vessel reflection profile is investigated by a Monte Carlo simulation. Considering retinal vessels with diameters of 25-200 μm we found the reflection from a thin vessel to be determined by the single and double transmission of light at 560 nm. The backscattering from the blood column determines the reflectance in the case of a thick vessel. However, both components are in the same order of magnitude. This has to be considered in the calculation of the oxygen saturation of blood in retinal vessels from their reflection spectra.