The findings at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in a group of 36 pathologically verified supratentorial gliomas were analyzed and compared with the biopsy diagnoses (a) to determine whether MR imaging could be used to classify astrocytic-series tumors into a three-tiered system of low-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, and glioblastoma multiforme; and (b) to evaluate MR imaging features that may aid in this classification. The MR characteristics evaluated were crossing of the midline, edema, tumor signal heterogeneity, hemorrhage, border definition, cyst formation or necrosis, and mass effect. The statistically significant MR characteristics (positive predictors) were mass effect (P = .0000) and cyst formation or necrosis (P = .0512). The MR accuracy rate approached that of neuropathologic diagnosis, which is subject to sampling errors. MR imaging may serve as an adjunct in case management when the clinical course and MR findings appear to be at odds with the neuropathologic diagnosis.