OBJECTIVES non-physiological flow behaviour plays a significant role in the development of distal anastomotic intimal hyperplasia. To investigate flow patterns in four anastomotic types of femoral end-to-side distal bypass graft anastomoses, a flow visualisation study was performed. METHODS transparent 1:1 casted replicas of distal vascular graft anastomoses created by conventional technique, Miller-cuff, Taylor- and Linton-patch were fabricated. A pulsatile mock circulation with a high-speed video system was constructed. Flow pattern was determined at mean Reynolds numbers 100-500. Migrations of the stagnation points on the bottom of the anastomoses at mean Reynolds numbers 100, 230, and 350 were measured. RESULTS a vortex forms during early systole and increases to maximum systole in all anastomoses. During the diastolic phase the vortex moves in the Miller-cuff distally to the toe of the anastomosis and remains standing, while in the other anastomotic types the vortex moves proximally to the heal of the junction and breaks down. The shift of the stagnation point in the Miller-cuff was considerably smaller than in the other anastomoses. CONCLUSION conventional, Linton and Taylor anastomoses show similar flow patterns. The Miller-cuff with its wider cavity shows lower shift of the bottom stagnation point, but a persistent washout of the anastomotic cavity, which may contribute to its reported good clinical performance.