AIM To evaluate angioscopy in this Unit with respect to its application in lower limb vascular reconstructions. By providing magnified, colour images of the luminal surfaces of vein grafts, anastomoses and native arteries, angioscopy allows direct visualisation of imperfections and is sensitive in diagnosing technical problems. However, assessment is qualitative and magnification of the image can distort the operator's impression of true size. Angioscopy would be more versatile if it were possible to quantify the observed images. METHOD A new technique has been developed to measure intra-luminal diameter from the angioscopic images. A linear displacement transducer is attached to the angioscope and accurately monitors its axial shift. Signals from the transducer are received by a personal computer equipped with a video frame grabber and analogue digital converter, together with appropriate software. The computer generates calculated dimensions based on geometrical principles, once each angioscope has been appropriately calibrated at the outset. RESULTS Laboratory studies examining tubes of known dimensions have confirmed the reproducibility and accuracy of the technique. Simultaneous angioscopic and Duplex ultrasound measurements of the internal diameters of segments of vein suspended in a water bath were then carried out. Using the Duplex results as the 'gold standard', there was a strong correlation between the measurements obtained with the two techniques (Rs = 0.92). CONCLUSIONS In the clinical context, this system has the capability to generate accurate endoluminal measurements during angioscopy. This has application for quality control in the selection of veins and inspection of run-off vessels during bypass grafting and in completion studies, following both operative and percutaneous procedures.