A detailed study, based on a Monte Carlo algorithm, of polarized light propagation in birefringent turbid media is presented in this paper. Linear birefringence, which results from the fibrous structures, changes the single scattering matrix and alters the polarization states of photons propagating in biological tissues. Some Mueller matrix elements of light backscattered from birefringent anisotropic turbid media present unusual intensity patterns compared with those for nonbirefringent isotropic turbid media. This result is in good agreement with the analytic results based on the double-scattering model. Degree of polarization, Stokes parameters, and diffuse reflectance as functions of linearly birefringent parameters based on numerical results and theoretical analysis are discussed and compared in an effort to understand the essential physical processes of polarized light propagation in fibrous tissues. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.