Positron emission computed tomography (PECT) using 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) was used to investigate the correlations between clinical status, anatomy (as described by CT), and metabolism in five patients with stable aphasia resulting from ischemic cerebral infarction. Local cerebral metabolic activity was diminished in an area larger than the area of infarction demonstrated by CT. In one patient, FDG PECT revealed a metabolic lesion that probably caused the aphasic syndrome and was not apparent by CT. The data suggest that reliance on CT in delineating the extent of the brain lesion in aphasia or other neuropsychological defects can be misleading; FDG PECT may provide important additional information. Two patients with similar metabolic lesions had very different clinical syndromes, showing that even when currently available methods are combined, major gaps remain in clinicoanatomical correlations in aphasia.