BACKGROUND The cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) results of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) and arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI studies performed in patients with cerebrovascular disease (steno-occlusive vascular disease or stroke) were systematically reviewed. SUMMARY Thirty-one articles were included. Twenty-three (74.2%) studies used BOLD MRI to evaluate the CVR, 4 (12.9%) studies used ASL MRI and 4 (12.9%) studies used both BOLD and ASL MRI. Thirteen studies (3 significant) found a lower BOLD CVR, 2 studies found a similar CVR and 3 studies found a higher CVR in the ipsilateral compared to the contralateral hemisphere. Nine (5 significant) out of 10 studies found a lower BOLD CVR in the ipsilateral hemispheres of patients compared to controls. Six studies (2 significant) found a lower ASL CVR in the ipsilateral compared to the contralateral hemispheres. Three out of 5 studies found a significant lower ASL CVR in the ipsilateral hemispheres of patients compared to controls. KEY MESSAGES This review brings support for a reduced BOLD and ASL CVR in the ipsilateral hemisphere of patients with cerebrovascular disease. We suggest that future studies will be performed in a uniform way so reference values can be established and could be used to guide treatment decisions in patients with cerebrovascular disease.