Using techniques of stereology, we measured the severity of lesions in ten cases of acute St Louis encephalitis (SLE) from the 1975 epidemic in northern Illinois. Percentage of fractional volume and numerical profile density on area (N/A) of cellular nodules and N/A of blood vessels with perivascular inflammatory cellular infiltration were significantly correlated in 17 anatomic regions of the CNS. Ranking of the severity of lesions in these regions agreed with subjective estimates of other cases of SLE. Immunofluorescent tests established the presence of SLE viral antigen in cell bodies of neurons. Our findings contribute to better understanding of the pathology of SLE in man.