The behavior of the BBB in cerebral ischemia was studied in symptom-positive Mongolian gerbils subjected to left common carotid artery occlusion using Evans Blue dye as indicator of BBB injury. The BBB damage was demonstrable grossly by the presence of areas of blue discoloration, and microscopically by the presence of a bright red fluorescent tracer, localized mostly in the neurons. The survey of various groups of animals revealed a direct relationship between the incidence and time of appearance of the BBB lesions and the duration of the ischemic occlusion. This relationship can be interpreted as another example of the previously described "maturation" phenomenon. A relatively late occurrence of the BBB injury in cerebral ischemia, at the time when the affected brain tissue shows severe, edematous histopathologic changes indicates that the brain edema, as the main complication of ischemia, could be regarded as being primarily of the cytotoxic type.