Cerebral hemodynamics in 31 patients with suspected normal-pressure hydrocephalus were studied by means of the xenon-133 (133Xe) inhalation method and on dynamic computerized tomography (CT) scanning. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is reduced in all patients with dementia. Hypoperfusion was noted in a frontal distribution in these patients compared with normal individuals. There was no difference in CBF patterns between patients with good and those with poor outcome. The CBF was increased following cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting in patients who responded to that procedure: increase in flow correlated with clinical improvement, frontal and temporal lobe CBF was most markedly increased, and the CBF pattern became normal. In contrast, CBF was decreased after shunt placement in patients who were considered to have suffered from degenerative dementia, as evidenced by non-response to shunting. Dynamic computerized tomography studies demonstrated that patients with a good outcome showed a postoperative reduction in mean transit time of contrast material, most prominent in the frontal and temporal gray matter, and slight in the deep frontal structures, but not in the major cerebral vessels. Patients with poor outcome after shunting, however, had an increase in transit time in all regions. This corresponded well with the results as determined by the 133Xe inhalation method.