Cold injury model in rat was used to determine the effect of treatment with the competitive NMDA antagonists CPP and the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist MK-801 in cerebral oedema. MK-801 was applied in doses of 1 mg/kg and CPP of 10 mg/kg, 15 min. after injury. Control animals received 1 mi saline at the same time interval after injury. Tissue samples from the core and periphery of the lesion of the injured hemisphere and from the symmetrical location of the undamaged contralateral hemisphere were removed 24 hours after injury. Blood brain barrier permeability, brain water content and tissue specific gravity values were determined. MK-801 was found beneficial for reducing the oedema and restore the blood brain barrier permeability at the penumbral zone of the lesion, whereas both MK-801 and CPP were found ineffective for prevention of oedema accumulation at the core of the lesion.