Four children with Landau-Kleffner syndrome were studied over a six year period. They presented with acquired aphasia, epilepsy, and focal or generalized EEG discharges which were exacerbated during sleep. In addition, cerebral angiography demonstrated isolated arteritis of some branches of the carotid arteries in all cases. Computed tomographic and magnetic resonance images were normal. Nicardipine in a dose of 1 to 2 mg/kg/day, added to conventional anticonvulsant drugs provided effective supplementary control of seizures, of paroxysmal EEG discharges, and of language and behavioural disturbances, even several years after the onset of the disorder and in patients whose response to other medications, including steroids, had been poor. Interruption of nicardipine administration was followed by relapse of the language disorder. Repeat angiography was performed in all four patients and showed recanalization of obstructed vessels in two cases. Focal cerebral vasculitis may be the pathogenesis of the Landau-Kleffner syndrome and calcium channel blockers such as nicardipine may be effective and specific therapy.