The objective was to test the hypothesis that the size frequency distributions of the prion protein (PrP) plaques in cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) follow a power-law function. The design was a retrospective neuropathological study. The patients were 11 cases of clinically and neuropathologically verified vCJD. Size distributions of the diffuse and florid-type plaques were measured in several areas of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus from each case and a power-law function fitted to each distribution. The size distributions of the florid and diffuse plaques were fitted successfully by a powerlaw function in 100% and 42% of brain areas investigated respectively. Processes of aggregation/disaggregation may be more important than surface diffusion in the pathogenesis of the florid plaques. By contrast, surface diffusion may be a more significant factor in the development of the diffuse plaques.