Serial MRI including diffusion and perfusion imaging was performed in a patient with hypertensive encephalopathy. At admission, the patient was disorientated and presented with seizures and cortical blindness. Perfusion imaging showed a marked reduction in blood volume and flow, with corresponding vasogenic oedema in the occipital, posterior temporal, and, to a lesser extent, frontal lobes. The clinical symptoms disappeared rapidly following treatment, whereas the disturbed circulation pattern and vasogenic oedema resolved more slowly. A complete normalisation was seen after 1 year.