Using noninvasive transcranial Doppler sonography, we studied cerebral collateral patterns in 30 patients with stenosis and/or occlusion of the extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA). All patients with unilateral ICA stenosis less than or equal to 80% had normal transcranial Doppler findings. 80% of patients with unilateral and 50% of patients with bilateral ICA stenosis of more than 80% including those with occlusion showed a collateralization via the ipsilateral anterior and/or posterior cerebral artery. 20% of patients with unilateral and 50% of patients with bilateral ICA stenoses of more than 80% (including occlusion) had two or three collateral pathways, including the ophthalmic artery. Another ten patients with stenosis or spasm of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) showed increased flow velocities with turbulence in the narrow segment. In four patients with severe MCA disease with a systolic peak velocity of more than 200 cm/s, the Doppler waveform distal to the lesion was damped. Decreased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured by 99mTc-HMPAO-SPECT was found in two patients with severe MCA stenosis. Another patient with moderate MCA stenosis with a systolic peak velocity of 140 cm/s showed a normal cerebral perfusion pattern.