Velocity pulsatility and area distensibility variation along the internal carotid artery (ICA) trajectory were studied with 2D phase-contrast flow measurements (118 subjects; 3T MRI). Results showed a more complicated behavior than just progressive pulsatility decrease along the ICA towards the circle of Willis. The bony carotid canal appears to constrain the distensibility of the ICA, yielding locally increased velocity pulsatility. Velocity pulsatility was significantly higher in men compared to women and increased with ageing. This age-related increase was strongest just proximal to the circle of Willis, indicating reduced damping of the pulsatility along the ICA with age.