Unilateral, transient (30, 60, and 120 minutes (min)) middle-cerebralartery (MCA) occlusion was induced via transorbital craniotomy in 11 waking sub-human primates. Local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) was calculated from hydrogen clearance curves obtained through the use of intracerebral platinum microelectrodes. Unilateral MCA occlusion decreased LCBF in the territory of the ipsilateral MCA. Within minutes of the arterial occlusion all monkeys developed contralateral neurologic deficits that began disappearing three hours (h) after reopening the MCA. Regional ischemia, followed by 24 h of reperfusion, produced varying degrees of tissue vacuolation which correlated (r = 0.60, p < 0.01, n = 49) with the percent reduction in LCBF multiplied by the occlusion time. Neurons were classified according to the structural features of their perikaryon. A plot of neuron types versus percent vacuolation suggested that normal neurons become increasingly scalloped under increasingly severe ischemic conditions. The number of scalloped neurons decreased precipitously in areas of marked sponginess coincident with the appearance of irreversibly damaged neurons. Local tissue edema values exceeding 30% correlated with irreversible injury to all neurons in the same area. Regional cerebral ischemia of increasing severity was acompanied by increasing numbers of lethally injured neurons. © 1983 by the American Association of Neuropathologists.