To analyze the relationship among characteristics of buits, degree of under lying stenosis, and neurologic symptom complexes, the authors studied 157 patients with bruits undergoing digital subtraction angiography. Symptom status assignment (definite lateralizing, possible lateralizing, vertebrobasilar, diffuse, and asymptomatic) and cervical auscultation for location, duration, and other bruit characteristics were performed independently. Bruit occurrence was asso ciated with stenosis of ≥50% of the underlying vessel with the association being no stronger at higher levels of stenosis (≥80%). No relationship existed between the side of bruit and side of symptoms in those with lateralized symptoms. The authors found more severe degrees of carotid stenosis in two symptomatic groups (vertebrobasilar insufficiency [VBI] and definite lateralized) compared with asymptomatic patients. Those with VBI had more high-grade stenosis, whereas those with lateralized symptoms had more occlusions, which tended to be ipsilat eral to the symptoms.