Of 564 consecutive patients with transient ischemic attack, 350 (62%) had cranial computed tomography performed. Except for date of admission and smoking history, there were few differences between the patients evaluated with computed tomography and the 214 who were not. Cerebral infarcts were found in 59 (17%) of the 350 tomographic evaluations. Previous clinically diagnosed stroke, older age, and male sex were all significantly associated with the occurrence of tomographically verified infarcts (p less than 0.05). After controlling for stroke history and other important covariates, patients with tomographically verified infarcts had significantly shorter survival times than did patients without evidence of infarction on computed tomography (p = 0.035). Thus, cranial computed tomography findings appear to have important prognostic value for estimating survival following transient ischemic attack.