Regional cerebral blood flow was measured with xenon-133 inhalation single photon emission computed tomography in a patient who developed a neurological deficit after carotid ligation. Hemispheric hypoperfusion was noted in resting studies and impaired vasoreactivity was suggested by lack of symmetrical flow augmentation after acetazolamide administration. Because of progressive neurological deterioration, an extracranial-intracranial bypass was performed. After prompt neurological improvement, repeat cerebral blood flow measurements at 1 and 9 weeks postoperatively confirmed improvement in resting flow and vasoreactivity. It is possible that decreased cerebrovascular reserve implied by measurements of vasoreactivity can identify patients who will benefit from surgical revascularization.