Magnetic resonance imaging in 9 cases of surgically confirmed nonneoplastic intra- and/or suprasellar cysts was analyzed and compared with that from 17 cases of craniopharyngioma and 12 of cystic pituitary adenoma. Signal intensity did not help in distinguishing nonneoplastic cysts from cystic neoplasms. No postcontrast (Gd-DTPA) cyst wall enhancement was observed among the nonneoplastic cysts, although all 6 craniopharyngiomas and 12 cystic pituitary adenomas that underwent postcontrast study did enhance. Three nonneoplastic cysts were surrounded by the pituitary gland, thus mimicking wall enhancement in the postcontrast studies. Rapid enhancement in the early postcontrast-administration phase (dynamic studies) helped avoid confusion between the normal pituitary tissue and cyst wall enhancement. Magnetic resonance studies with contrast enhancement play an essential role in differentiating nonneoplastic cysts from cystic neoplasms in the sella region.