The contribution of hematocrit (Ht) changes on cerebral blood flow (CBF) and brain oxygenation in ischemic cerebrovascular disease is still controversial. In the present study, effects of Ht variations of CBF and oxygen delivery were investigated in patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease. CBF was measured by the Xe-133 intracarotid injection method in 27 patients, whose diagnoses included completed stroke, reversible ischemic neurological deficit, and transient ischemic attack. Ht values in the patients ranged from 31 to 53%. There was a significant inverse correlation between CBF and Ht in these Ht ranges. Oxygen delivery, i.e., the product of arterial oxygen content and CBF, increased with Ht elevation and reached the maximum level in the Ht range of 40-45% and then declined. The CBF-Ht and oxygen transport-Ht relations observed in our study were similar to those in the glass-tube model studies by other workers rather than to those in intact animal experiments. From these results, it is conceivable that in ischemic cerebrovascular disease, the vasomotor adjustment was impaired in such a manner that the relations among Ht, CBF, and oxygen delivery were different from those in healthy subjects. Further, an "optimal hematocrit" for brain oxygenation was also discussed.