Anaesthesia for the surgical treatment of supratentorial tumours requires an understanding of: the pathophysiology of a localised or generalised increase in intracranial pressure (ICP), the regulation and maintenance of intracerebral perfusion, avoidance of secondary systemic insults to the brain, and the effects of anaesthetic drugs on ICP, cerebral perfusion and cerebral metabolism. Knowledge of the therapeutic options available for decreasing ICP, brain bulk and brain tension perioperatively is also essential. Potential complications which may present during supratentorial neurosurgery include massive intraoperative haemorrhage and seizures. The fact that the surgeon is operating on a tensed brain is also a potential source of difficulty. The need to monitor brain function and environment during surgery poses a challenge to the anaesthesiologist, as does the achievement of rapid emergence from anaesthesia with the adequate use of anaesthetic drugs.