✓ The authors report on a series of patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) who underwent stereotactic radiofrequency (RF) pallidotomies, three of whom suffered delayed postoperative strokes. These three belonged to a group consisting of 42 patients with medically intractable IPD in whom 50 pallidotomies were performed. All three patients had significant previous vascular disease and were in a high-risk group for cerebral infarction. A postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) image was obtained immediately after the pallidotomy was performed to document the placement of the RF lesion and to rule out any hematoma. The delayed strokes occurred on postoperative Days 10, 51, and 117 in patients with previous vascular disease (Group 1, 11 patients). No strokes occurred in the group with the vascular disease risk factor (Group 2, 11 patients) or in the group with no risk factors for vascular disease (Group 3, 20 patients). This observation is statistically significant (p < 0.05). The T2-weighted MR images showed the lesions as high-intensity signals extending to the posterior limb of the internal capsule ipsilateral to the pallidotomy site. The poststroke T1-weighted images obtained in two patients showed persistent contrast enhancement of the RF lesion and no enhancement around the stroke lesion. Clinically and radiographically, these discrete new lesions represent delayed infarctions, suggesting that RF lesioning can induce delayed injury in adjacent tissue. Patients with previously identified vasculopathy may be at risk for delayed capsular infarction following RF pallidotomy.