Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MSA) have been used recently for evaluation of intracranial aneurysms. If they are to replace conventional digital subtraction angiography (DSA), their sensitivity and specificity should be equal to the latter. In order to determine whether computed tomographic angiography and magnetic resonance angiography can provide the necessary information for presurgical evaluation we compared blindly the results of helical CT angiography and MR angiography with the results of digital subtraction angiography and the intraoperative findings. We evaluated 35 patients with the possible clinical diagnosis of intracranial aneurysm. Our data suggest that both CTA and MRA can provide valuable preoperative information concerning the location, the characteristics and the relationships of most intracranial aneurysms. Both original and reconstructed images should be evaluated together for higher accuracy. In addition helical CT, being a fast, inexpensive and noninvasive method, can be used as a reliable alternative to DSA in emergency situations demanding immediate operation.