Focal brain edema limited to one cerebral hemisphere was produced by ultraviolet irradiation of the exposed cortex. Tissue water content was determined by the gravimetric method which allows microsampling. Therefore, the spread of edema around the small necrotic area be mapped more precisely than by determination of dry weight which calls for larger samples. As early as 30 min after irradiation, hyperemia and swelling of the brain are observed under the operating microscope. This correlates with venous stasis, hyperemia, and broadened perivascular spaces around venules and large capillaries accompanied by a marked rise in the specific weigth of the tissue. After 4h an edema front can be observed spreading from the perinerotic zone in which there is a marked rise in endothelial cell vesicular activity. Edema reaches maximum levels in the deep white matter at 48h post irradiation with normalisation of the tissue water content after 96h. The velocity at which the edema front spreads from the cortex to the periventricular area lies in the range of 0.25mm/h. Edema reabsorption coincides with signs of retrograde micropinocytosis in endothelial cells.