Two hundred and twenty three right-handed patients consecutively admitted to the wards in a 21-month period for a left-sided cerebrovascular disease were examined 15 to 30 days after the stroke for the presence of aphasia. Twenty-seven of them could not be assessed. Of the remaining 196, 108 (55.1%) were aphasic. The incidence of global aphasia (43%) in the latter group was higher than in previous studies. Based on CT-scan data it was associated in 32% of patients with a deep lesion and only in 53% with an antero-posterior cortical-subcortical lesion, contrary to what is traditionally assumed. There was no sex difference in the incidence and distribution of aphasia.