Computed tomography (CT) of the brains of 70 children with permanent cortical visual impairment (CVI) and of 25 children who recovered from their cortical visual loss were analysed and the findings were correlated with clinical signs and symptoms. The 70 children with CVI were divided into groups depending on the known or suspected pathophysiology of CVI. Asphyxia caused permanent CVI in 34 children, of whom 16 were preterm, 17 were term and one lost vision later in life. Congenital brain malformations were the second largest group, followed by trauma, infections and shunt failure. 25 children recovered their visual acuities, but six of them were left with homonymous hemianopia. The results identified various clinical characteristics of the groups. CT scanning was helpful in understanding the pathophysiology of CVI, and provided useful information for the prognosis of visual recovery.