Severe hypertension in humans may lead to fibrinoid necroses of cerebral blood vessels with small hemorrhages and cystic necroses. Similar lesions have also been reported in the experimental model of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). We examined the genesis and spreading pattern of the brain oedema in SHRSP. The extravasation of plasma proteins was visualized with the Evans-Blue or the immunoperoxidase method. Most commonly the leakage occurred in the grey matter of the cerebral cortex or basal ganglia. The spreading pattern followed that of vasogenic brain oedema with a local spread in the grey matter and an extensive one in the white matter. In addition, we detected a novel pathway upwards along the perivascular spaces of the penetrating vessels as well as laterally in the subpial zone. This route is likely to serve also as a drainage channel for the oedema into the cerebrospinal fluid in the subarachnoidal space. Transfer of the extravasated proteins from the white matter to the ventricles was also observed, confirming that this previously described pathway for the resolution of oedema fluid exists in the SHRSP model of vasogenic brain oedema.