A combination of extracranial and transcranial color-coded sonography was used to identify the patterns of vascular occlusion in 47 patients with acute ischemic stroke. Total anterior circulation infarction (n = 20) was associated with internal carotid artery (ICA) or middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion (n = 8 and 9, respectively), or with significant reduction in ipsilateral MCA velocities (n = 5). Patients with partial anterior circulation (n = 22) infarction had patency of the ipsilateral ICA and MCA. In this group, significant reduction of ipsilateral MCA velocities (n = 7) was associated with more extensive infarcts on conventional neuroimaging (n = 6), suggesting multiple MCA branch occlusions. Ultrasound imaging was unable to identify underlying vascular pathology in patients with posterior circulation infarction or with lacunar infarction (n = 5). An ultrasound-based approach enables noninvasive identification of major vascular pathology of the anterior cerebral circulation in patients with acute cerebral infarction. It may be useful for the rapid identification of patients most and those least likely to benefit from acute intervention, and for monitoring their response.