Effects of hypocapnia on cerebral oxygen consumption (CMRO2) and blood flow (CBF) in cerebral ischemia were studied in 19 patients. The CMRO2 did not change significantly during hypocapnia within the whole group of patients, because 10 out of 19 cases showed a decrease (p less than 0.001) and other 9 showed an increase (p less than 0.01) of CMRO2 during hypocapnia. The first 10 showed higher resting CMRO2 (p less than 0.001) and arteriovenous differences of oxygen content (AVDO2; p less than 0.02) than the other 9. However, the resting CBF and CO2 reactivity to hypocapnia were not different between them, and clinical situations were also similar. A dissociation between flow and metabolism was suggested in the first 10 with rather preserved CMRO2, while reduced metabolic demands were suggested in the other 9. Different responses of CMRO2 to hypocapnia are expected in cerebral ischemia, i.e. in cases with rather preserved CMRO2 it decreases despite an AVDO2 increase, suggesting a capability of CMRO2 to respond to CBF reduction, while it increases in cases with more decreased CMRO2, as the AVDO2 increase exceeds the CBF reduction to maintain the decreased CMRO2 for a further CBF reduction. The vascular CO2 reactivity, therefore, might be maintained to be constant between these patients.