Cerebral blood flow (CBF) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and after restoration of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) from cardiac arrest has previously been measured with the microspheres and laser Doppler techniques. We used positron emission tomography (PET) with [15O]--water to map the haemodynamic changes after ROSC in nine young pigs. After the baseline PET recording, ventricular fibrillation of 5 min duration was induced, followed by closed-chest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in conjunction with IV administration of three bolus doses of adrenaline (epinephrine). After CPR, external defibrillatory shocks were applied to achieve ROSC. CBF was measured at intervals during 4h after ROSC. Relative to the mean global CBF at baseline (32+/-5 ml hg(-1)min(-1)), there was a substantial global increase in CBF at 10 min, especially in the diencephalon. This was followed by an interval of cortical hypoperfusion and a subsequent gradual return to baseline values.