Regional CBF (rCBF) was measured quantitatively using the inert-gas washout technique with xenon-133 and single-photon emission computed tomography. Tomographic data were reconstructed by filtered back projection, and flow was calculated according to the double-integral method. Ninety-seven subjects ranging in age from 20 to 59 years received a single examination; eight of these received a second examination within 1 h of the first; seven others received a second examination separated from the first by 1-10 days. Transverse-section images were obtained at 2, 6, and 10 cm above and parallel to the canthomeatal line (CML). Cortical gray matter flows were obtained from 12 brain regions in the slice 6 cm above the CML, and cerebellar and inferior cerebral gray matter flows were obtained from 4 regions in the slice 2 cm above the CML. Mean gray matter flow was 72 +/- 12 ml/min/100 g, with highest flows in the parietal lobes and visual cortex. No significant differences in rCBF occurred when a second study followed the first by 30 min to 10 days. Right-sided rCBF was slightly higher than left in all regions except frontal and parietal lobes where there was no difference. Flow was higher in women than in men and declined mildly with age for both sexes (slope = -0.33 ml/min/100 g/year; p less than 0.05).