The purpose of the study was to evaluate the long-term clinical tracking of magnetically labeled stem cells after intracerebroventricular transplantation as well as to investigate in vitro feasibility for magnetic guidance of cell therapy within large fluid compartments. After approval by our Institutional Review Board, an 18-month-old patient, diagnosed as being in a vegetative state due to global cerebral ischemia, underwent cell transplantation to the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle, with umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) contrast agent. The patient was followed over 33 months with clinical examinations and MRI. To evaluate the forces governing the distribution of cells within the fluid compartment of the ventricular system in vivo, a gravity-driven sedimentation assay and a magnetic field-driven cell attraction assay were developed in vitro. Twenty-four hours post-transplantation, MR imaging (MRI) was able to detect hypointense cells in the occipital horn of the lateral ventricle. The signal gradually decreased over 4 months and became undetectable at 33 months. In vitro, no significant difference in cell sedimentation between SPIO-labeled and unlabeled cells was observed (p = NS). An external magnet was effective in attracting cells over distances comparable to the size of human lateral ventricles. MR imaging of SPIO-labeled cells allows monitoring of cells within lateral ventricles. While the initial biodistribution is governed by gravity-driven sedimentation, an external magnetic field may possibly be applied to further direct the distribution of labeled cells within large fluid compartments such as the ventricular system.