Bilateral, symmetrical, experimental aneurysms were produced with anastomosed vein flap in the carotid arteries of 24 mongrel dogs. Aneurysms were occluded with latex or silicone balloons on each side and observed angiographically from 2 weeks to 2 months. A histopathological study was performed subsequently using light and scanning electron microscopy. Rupture after balloon embolization occurred in five aneurysms; all of which were incompletely occluded by a silicone balloon. On subsequent angiograms, four silicone balloons and one latex balloon were found to have migrated into the aneurysm, resulting in aneurysmal expansion. Parent artery occlusion was more common with latex balloons than silicone balloons. Histopathologically, residual fresh thrombi, decreased proliferation of fibroblasts within the aneurysmal cavity, and poor endothelialization were present around the silicone balloon. These results suggest that the intra-aneurysmal organization, as seen in the aneurysm occluded by the silicone balloon, will be delayed because the balloon is not fixed within the aneurysm, and that this free-floating and rotating balloon causes repeated trauma to the aneurysm wall, contributing to subsequent enlargement and rupture of the aneurysm. The superior antithrombogenic nature of silicone may be responsible for the bias of such phenomena toward the silicone balloon.