The microvascular growth of ethylnitrosourea-induced rat glioma was observed using vascular casting and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Light microscopy showed central necrosis and marginal invasive tumor cell growth with increased vascularity, and suggested that adopted pre-existing circulation was dominant in the inoculated brain tumors. In SEM, numerous buds or nodular protrusions and a few large and tortuous vessels along the tumor margin were seen at the early stage. In the intermediate stage, microaneurysms, buds with septum formation and anastomotic arches appeared, and these tumor vessels became more tortuous and larger, and extended as the tumor grew. Several "potato-shaped" huge vessels and linear nodular large vessels also appeared. In the late stage, glomeruli appeared and potato-shaped huge vessels increased in number. The neovascularization and microvascular growth of the tumors was characterized by three patterns: (a) growth of the parent vessels forming buds, (b) vascular growth in a meshwork formation producing glomeruli, and (c) vascular enlargement without a definite pattern creating potato-shaped huge vessels. The tumor vessels gradually lost their natural three-dimensional structure.