The flow velocities in glass and silastic lateral aneurysm models were quantitatively measured with the non-invasive laser Doppler method. The influences of the elasticity of the wall, the pulse wave and the properties of the perfusion medium on the intra-aneurysmal circulation were investigated. As shown previously, the inflow into the aneurysm arose from the downstream lip and was directed toward the center of the fundus. Backflow to the parent vessel took place along the walls of the fundus. With non-pulsatile perfusion, flow velocities in the center of the standardized aneurysms varied between 0.4 and 2% of the maximum velocity in the parent vessel. With pulsatile perfusion, flow velocities in the center of the fundus ranged between 8 and 13% of the flow velocity in the axis of the parent vessel. Flow velocities in the aneurysms were slower with a polymer suspension with blood-like properties compared to a glycerol/water solution. Flow velocity measurements near the aneurysmal wall allowed the estimation of the shear stresses at critical locations. The maximum shear stresses at the downstream lip of the aneurysm were in the range of the stresses measured at the flow divider of an arterial bifurcation. The present results suggest that in human saccular aneurysms intra-aneurysmal flow and shear stress on the wall are directly related to the pulsatility of perfusion, i.e. the systolic/diastolic pressure difference and that the tendency to spontaneous thrombosis depends on the viscoelastic properties of the blood, namely the hematocrit.