Regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) was studied with O(15)-water positron emission tomography and anatomic region-of-interest analysis on co-registered magnetic resonance in patients with idiopathic (n = 12) and secondary (n = 5) normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Mean CBF was compared with values obtained from healthy volunteers (n = 12) and with clinical parameters. Mean CBF was significantly decreased in the cerebrum and cerebellum of patients with NPH. The regional analysis demonstrated that CBF was reduced in the basal ganglia and the thalamus but not in white matter regions. The results suggest that the role of the basal ganglia and thalamus in NPH may be more prominent than currently appreciated. The implications for theories regarding the pathogenesis of NPH are discussed.