The diagnostic contributions of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were compared in 12 patients with benign intratemporal vascular tumors (hemangioma or vascular malformation). The tumors included six in the internal acoustic canal and six in the geniculate ganglion region. Clinical and histologic correlations were made. Two of the six patients with tumors in the internal acoustic canal underwent CT, and both required gas cisternography to show the tumor. Five patients in that group underwent MR imaging, and all five studies showed the tumor. All six patients with geniculate ganglion tumors underwent CT. Results in one study were questionable, and five showed the tumor. Five patients in this group underwent MR imaging, but the MR findings were positive in only two cases. MR imaging should therefore be performed before CT in the evaluation of facial nerve dysfunction, as it demonstrated all tumors in the internal acoustic canal and some in the geniculate ganglion region. If MR findings are negative, CT should then be performed to rule out a possible geniculate ganglion lesion.