To determine whether moderate stenosis (50% to 80%) of the intracranial segment of the internal carotid artery increases the risk of cerebral infarction after carotid endarterectomy, the arteriograms, ocular pneumoplethysmograms, internal carotid back pressure, and clinical outcome after 169 operations were reviewed. Siphon stenoses less than 50% were not included because of their doubtful anatomic and hemodynamic significance. No patients with stenosis greater than 80% underwent operation. Moderate siphon stenosis affected 37 vessels, 24 (14.2%) ipsilateral and 13 (7.6%) contralateral to the side of operation. Eight patients had bilateral siphon stenosis. Three patients had stroke after operation; none of these cases had siphon stenosis. Moderate siphon stenosis did not increase the risk of perioperative cerebral infarction. Stroke only occurred in those patients in whom there was arteriographic or functional evidence that the affected hemisphere was isolated from effective collateral vessels.