A technique was developed for catheterization of the portal vein in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Silicone rubber catheters (0.040 ID by 0.085 inch OD, or 0.030 ID by 0.065 inch OD) were surgically placed into the portal vein via the umbilical, inferior mesenteric, right colic, or ileocolic veins. The right colic and ileocolic veins proved to be the preferred route for catheterization. Both single end-hole and multiple end-hole catheters with 2 side holes were used. Catheter function was dependent upon proper placement within the portal vein and on maintaining patency. Single-hole catheters were successfully maintained by periodic flushing (2-3 times daily) with heparinized saline solution (1.5-4.0 units/ml), and multiple-hole catheters were best maintained by a continuous flow (1-2 ml/hour) of heparinized saline solution (1.5 units/ml). No adverse clinical effects due to the portal catheter were observed in any of the monkeys catheterized. The technique allowed placing the monkey in a restraint chair, thus enabling one to utilize the monkey in a conscious state.