Brain water self diffusion was investigated by magnetic resonance scanning in 7 patients fulfilling conventional diagnostic criteria for pseudotumour cerebri. Quantitative diffusion measurements were obtained using single spin echo pulse sequences with pulsed magnetic field gradients of different magnitude. In all patients the diffusion images showed an increased diffusion in various brain regions when compared with the diffusion coefficients for corresponding regions in healthy subjects. In 3 pseudotumour patients the increased self diffusion was localized to the periventricular regions, while 4 patients had increased diffusion in the whole brain. The findings indicate the presence of increased brain water content both intra- and extracellularly suggesting that patients with pseudotumour have two defects of pathogenetical significance: intracellular water accumulation and increased resistance to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) outflow leading to an interstiial oedema.