A velocity-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phase-mapping method was used for non-invasive study of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in the cerebral aqueduct, for indirect calculation of supratentorial CSF production, and for measurement of blood flow in the superior sagittal sinus (SSS). We examined 12 patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH; pseudotumour cerebri), and 10 healthy volunteers. The peak caudal and rostral CSF flow in the aqueduct during the cardiac cycle did not differ significantly between the patients and the volunteers. A significant correlation was found between the CSF volume flow amplitude and the resistance to cerebrospinal fluid outflow in the patients (p < 0.05). The calculated mean supratentorial CSF production rate was 0.79 ml/min in the patients and 0.70 ml/min in the controls, but this difference was not statistically significant. However, the MRI measurements suggested CSF hypersecretion in three patients, whereas increased transependymal passage of CSF could have been the cause of negative calculated CSF production rates in two others. A tendency towards lower mean blood flow in the SSS (mean 345 ml/min) in the patients than in the controls (mean 457 ml/min) was found, and in two patients showed very low values. We showed that MRI phase-mapping may be used to study the relative importance of the pathophysiological factors thought to play a role in the development of IIH.