Cortical microinfarcts are reported in Alzheimer's disease, but not in subcortical vascular dementia; the disease specificity of cortical microinfarcts therefore remains unclear. The distribution of cortical microinfarcts in Alzheimer's disease (n = 8) and subcortical vascular dementia (n = 6) was analyzed. Cortical microinfarcts were frequently detected in Alzheimer's disease, whereas they were rarely observed in subcortical vascular dementia. In Alzheimer's disease, cortical microinfarcts were present predominantly in the occipital lobe, the area of predilection for amyloid angiopathy, and also in the vascular borderzone. Cortical microinfarcts were invariably located very close to amyloid beta-deposited vessels with intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression. These results indicate that cortical microinfarcts are caused by the pathomechanism related to Alzheimer's disease, most likely to amyloid angiopathy.