Five neonates with cranial arteriovenous malformations were studied with color Doppler sonography. Excellent correlation was found between sonography and subsequent angiography. In three patients with vein of Galen aneurysms, sonography showed a cystic structure with rapid or swirling flow. Careful adjustment of the color Doppler system was required to demonstrate flow in another patient with a dural arteriovenous malformation. An arteriovenous fistula in a fifth patient appeared as an area of increased flow. Arterial feeders and major draining veins were visualized in all five patients. Color Doppler imaging also was used to assess the effect of embolic or operative therapy in three of the patients. We conclude that color Doppler sonography is able reliably to characterize flow patterns in neonatal cranial arteriovenous malformations. Color Doppler imaging also is helpful in assessing flow after embolic or surgical therapy.