In this paper, the diffusion of a line vortex in a second-order fluid is considered. The Hankel transform is used to solve this problem and an exact solution for the velocity distribution is found in terms of a definite integral. The integrand is an oscillatory function and the integration is performed by a numerical technique. It is found that there are pronounced effects of viscoelastic properties on the velocity distribution with respect to that of the Newtonian fluid. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.