Malignant progression, infiltrative growth pattern and recurrencies after surgery are characteristic features of diffuse gliomas. Ezrin is a membrane-cytoskeleton linker protein expressed in several types of neoplasms. In experimental models, increased ezrin expression correlates with invasion of malignant glioma cells. We studied ezrin expression and its correlation with patient survival in 229 primary and recurrent astrocytomas (WHO grades II-IV), oligodendrogliomas (II-III) and oligoastrocytomas (II-III) of 113 patients. Ezrin expression as evaluated by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting was detected in all studied glioma types. Staining intensity and number of immunoreactive cells correlated with increasing malignancy of astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas (P = 0.001). Ezrin expression was strongest in astrocytomas (P = 0.006). Also oligodendrogliomas were positive for ezrin. High ezrin expression in primary gliomas correlated with shorter time to recurrence (P < 0.05) and poor overall survival (P < 0.05) of the patients. Ezrin expression increased during progression of the tumours (P < 0.05). However, ezrin was not an independent prognostic factor. The results of this study show that ezrin expression is associated with progression of gliomas and correlates with histological cell type and WHO tumour grade.