A noninvasive method that employs 15O-water and positron-computed tomography (PCT) was used to measure quantitative local cerebral blood flow (lCBF) in man. 15O-Water (about 30-50 mCi) was introduced through a single-breath inhalation of 15O-carbon dioxide or through an intravenous bolus injection of 15O-water. A sequence of five 2-min PCT scans was initiated at the time of tracer administration. A series of 15-20 blood samples (1 ml each) was withdrawn from the radial artery of the subject over a period of 10 min. Oxygen-15 radioactivities in the blood samples were immediately counted in a well counter to give an input function, which together with the projection data collected by PCT were processed to provide images of 1CBF and local water distribution volume. The method was found to be convenient to use and gave good-quality images of 1CBF. Quantitative values of 1CBF in images were 59 +/- 11 and 20 +/- 4 ml/min/100 g for gray and white matter, respectively, with a gray-to-white matter ratio of 2.93 and a global flow value of 42 +/- 8 ml/min/100 g. Distribution volume of water was 0.85 +/- 0.03, 0.76 +/- 0.03, and 0.81 +/- 0.02 ml/g respectively, for gray matter, white matter, and whole brain.