Four commonly used surgical procedures have been shown to cause extensive damage to the sympathetic nerves which supply and accompany blood vessels. One of these procedures, which produced a localised crush lesion, was shown by fluorescence microscopy to cause extensive degeneration of adrenergic nerves in two densely innervated blood vessels of different character in the guinea pig: the elastic carotid artery, and the muscular mesenteric artery. The extent of denervation was different in the two vessels: in the carotid artery the crush lesion destroyed all the nerves near the lesion, but left undamaged sparse nerves which reached the vessel wall along its length with the vasa vasorum; in the mesenteric artery all the nerves ran with the artery, consequently denervation could be extensive (at least 2 cm distal to the crush), although the largest nerve bundles were resistant to crush injury. The regrowth rate of nerves in the mesenteric artery was faster than that found in the carotid artery. A plexus of normal density and appearance was re-established between 3 and 8 weeks, and hyperinnervation was observed in some specimens. In the carotid artery this process was usually not complete by 8 weeks and involved both the regrowth of injured fibres and collateral sprouting distal to the lesion of the sympathetic nerve fibres that had not been injured. Axon sprouting was observed in both vessels near the lesion site. Explanations for these differences are discussed.