Objective To investigate the distribution and severity of cerebral artery stenosis and the prognosis in elderly patients with acute cerebral infarction using digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Methods The 432 elderly patients with acute cerebral ischemia infarction underwent DSA,and they were divided into two groups: elderly group (n= 320) and non-elderly group (n= 112). The characteristics of distribution and severity of cerebral artery stenosis, the relationship between artery stenosis and relative risk factors, and the prognosis of acute cerebral infarction were analyzed.Results In elderly group, 270 cases (84.3%) had intra- and extra- cranial artery stenosis, of which 98 patients (30.6%) with pure extracranial arterial stenosis, 132 patients (41.3%) with combined extra- and intra-cranial artery stenosis. They were both significantly higher than the corresponding data in non-elderly group [23 cases (20.5%) and 28 cases (25%), P＜0.05 and 0.01]. The prevalences of moderate and severe cerebral artery stenosises were higher in elderly group than in nonelderly group [224 locations (52.1%) vs. 51 locations (40.8%), P＜0. 05]. The number of patients with previous history of cerebrovascular disease was much more and the prognosis was much worse in elderly group than in non-elderly group (both P＜0.05), Conclusions The elderly patients with cerebral infarction have severer cerebral artery stenosis, increased proportion of multivessel disease and poor prognosis. So it is very important to take aggressive treatment as soon as possible, and to make secondary prevention and effective rehabilitation so as to improve their prognosis.