Although there are data demonstrating reversal of cerebral vasospasm with magnesium sulfate, there is little information on the effects of magnesium on the normal intact cerebral vasculature. This study investigated the actions of magnesium on cerebral blood flow (CBF) velocity, cardiovascular variables, and arterial gas tensions. Magnesium sulfate was infused into awake, adult sheep at rates of 3 and 6 mmol/min to a total of 15 and 30 mmol, respectively. Direct arterial pressure, cardiac output, and CBF velocity were measured using chronically implanted catheters and a sagittal sinus Doppler flow probe. Arterial blood was sampled for magnesium concentrations and blood gas analysis. Infusion of both 15 and 30 mmol of magnesium increased CBF velocity by 14% (P = .056) and 24% (P = .023), respectively. These increases were accompanied by increases in arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) of 12% (P = .033) and 17% (P = .048). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that both PaCO2 (P = .00037) and magnesium (P = .0012) were important predictors of CBF velocity.