A finite element approximation of steady flow in a rigid three-dimensional model of the carotid artery bifurcation is presented. A Reynolds number of 640 and a flow division ratio of about , simulating systolic flow, was used. To limit the CPU- and needed for solving the systems of equations, a mesh-generator was developed, which gives full control over the number of elements into which the bifurcation is divided. A mini-supercomputer, based on parallel and vector processing techniques, was used to solve the system of equations. The numerical results of axial and secondary flow compare favorably with those obtained from previously performed laser-Doppler velocity measurements. Also, the influence of the Reynolds number, the flow division ratio, and the bifurcation angle on axial and secondary flow in the carotid sinus were studied in the three-dimensional model. The influence of the interventions is limited to a relatively small variation in the region with reversed axial flow, more or less pronounced C-shaped axial velocity contours, and increasing or decreasing axial velocity maxima.