Basic flow patterns were investigated in a set of glass aneurysm models by means of flow visualization methods. Dye injection and streaming double refraction were used to visualize flow. The circulation inside lateral aneurysms arising at a 90 degree angle from a straight parent conduit could not be visualized by the dye-injection technique but could be demonstrated by streaming double refraction. The inflow was seen to arise from the downstream lip of the orifice and to project to the dome of the aneurysm. Backflow to the parent conduit took place along the walls of the aneurysm. In aneurysms located at bifurcations, flow characteristics depended on the geometry of the bifurcation and the flow ratio between the branches. Relatively little intra-aneurysmal flow was demonstrated in side branch-related aneurysms arising distal to an asymmetric 90 degrees bifurcation of the type encountered at the junction of the internal carotid and posterior communicating arteries. Stagnation of flow at the neck and little intra-aneurysmal circulation were found with terminal aneurysms of the basilar bifurcation type if the outflow through the branches was symmetric. With asymmetric outflow, however, or if the axis of the aneurysm did not coincide with that of the afferent vessel, an active rotation developed in these aneurysms. The size of the aneurysm had no influence on the basic pattern of intra-aneurysmal circulation. The use of pulsatile perfusion did not significantly alter the basic flow patterns observed with steady flow. Locally disturbed laminar flow was observed in certain models at physiological Reynold's numbers, but there were no signs of fully developed turbulence.