Since data on velocity fields in the ascending aorta downstream of normal aortic valves in pigs have not yet been obtained velocity profiles were visualised using a hot film anemometer needle probe before and after total cardiopulmonary bypass and cold cardioplegic arrest. Furthermore, measurements were made during increased heart rate and cardiac output. A dynamic three dimensional visualisation of velocity fields showed a skewed clockwise rotating velocity profile, developing from peak systole and continuing throughout the systolic deceleration phase. This pattern was consistent regardless of the haemodynamic state. Heart rate was increased to 180 beats.min-1 and cardiac output by a maximum of 91%. It is concluded that the pig model is valuable for haemodynamic studies in the ascending aorta before and after cold cardioplegic arrest and that the velocity profiles found in this study are important basic data for velocity field studies downstream of artificial heart valves implanted in the aortic position.