The axial emission and detection profiles of 1- and 2-cm cylindrical diffusing fibers based on concentration gradients of scatterers were measured. Based on these measurements, we describe a method for determination of the scatterer concentration gradient within the diffusers. Using a Monte Carlo model incorporating these concentrations, detection was simulated and found to agree with measurements. The measured and simulated detection profiles for these diffusers were found to be drastically different from those previously measured in an alternative diffuser design incorporating an end reflector. When using cylindrical diffusers as detection fibers, it is, therefore, important to understand the design of the fiber and characterize the detection behavior.