Large spatial shear stress gradients have anecdotally been associated with early atherosclerotic lesion susceptibility in vivo and have been proposed as promoters of endothelial cell dysfunction in vitro. Here, experiments are presented in which several measures of the fluid dynamic shear stress, including its gradient, at the walls of in vivo porcine iliac arteries, are correlated against the transendothelial macromolecular permeability of the vessels. The fluid dynamic measurements are based on postmortem vascular casts, and permeability is measured from Evans blue dye (EBD) uptake. Time-averaged wall shear stress (WSS), as well as a new parameter termed maximum gradient stress (MGS) that describes the spatial shear stress gradient due to flow acceleration at a given point, are mapped for each artery and compared on a point-by-point basis to the corresponding EBD patterns. While there was no apparent relation between MGS and EBD uptake, a composite parameter, WSS(-0.11) MGS(0.044), was highly correlated with permeability. Notwithstanding the small exponents, the parameter varied widely within the region of interest. The results suggest that sites exposed to low wall shear stresses are more likely to exhibit elevated permeability, and that this increase is exacerbated in the presence of large spatial shear stress gradients.