A new approach is presented for studying the vascular response to hemodynamic stress. A laser doppler anemometer is used to make velocity measurements very near the walls of human arterial casts; these measurements are then correlated with the histology of the artery from which the cast was made. Several illustrative results are given which suggest that the velocity profiles along the outer walls of aortic bifurcations may be significantly determined by the longitudinal variation of cross-sectional area. The shapes of these profiles were qualitatively different for each cast studied. In one specimen, the location of initial lipid deposits appeared to correlate with flow acceleration.

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