Acute short-term changes in blood pressure (BP) and cardiac output (CO) affect cerebral blood flow (CBF) in healthy subjects. As yet, however, we do not know how spontaneous fluctuations in BP and CO influence cerebral circulation throughout 24 h. We performed simultaneous monitoring of BP, systemic haemodynamic parameters and blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (MCAV) in seven healthy subjects during a 24-h period. Finger BP was recorded continuously during 24 h by Portapres and bilateral MCAV was measured by transcranial Doppler (TCD) during the first 15 min of every hour. The subjects remained supine during TCD recordings and during the night, otherwise they were seated upright in bed. Stroke volume (SV), CO and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were determined by Modelflow analysis. The 15 min mean value of each parameter was assumed to represent the mean of the corresponding hour. There were no significant differences between right vs. left, nor between mean daytime vs. night time MCAV. Intrasubject comparison of the twenty-four 15-min MCAV recordings showed marked variations (P < 0.001). Within each single 15-min recording period, however, MCAV was stable whereas BP showed significant short-term variations (P < 0.01). A day-night difference in BP was only observed when daytime BP was evaluated from recordings in the seated position (P < 0.02), not in supine recordings. Throughout 24 h, MCAV was associated with SV and CO (P < 0.001), to a lesser extent with mean arterial pressure (MAP; P < 0.005), not with heart rate (HR) or TPR. These results indicate that in healthy subjects MCAV remains stable when measured under constant supine conditions but shows significant variations throughout 24 h because of activity. Moreover, changes in SV and CO, and to a lesser extent BP variations, affect MCAV throughout 24 h.