Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed on 40 patients with intracranial tumors, before and after intravenous administration of gadolinium-DTPA (Gd-DTPA). Precontrast studies included a comprehensive protocol of spin-echo sequences. Tumors were visualized on precontrast images either directly or indirectly by anatomic distortion caused by the mass. However, differentiation of the tumor from adjacent tissues was possible in only 17 of 40 cases. Delineation of the tumor was best on precontrast, T2-weighted images. After administration of Gd-DTPA (0.1 mmol/kg), increased signal intensity from the tumor was observed in all patients. The localized increase in signal intensity in the tumor considerably improved the tumor delineation in 36 of 40 patients. Whereas most of the meningiomas, neuromas, and adenomas could be delineated prior to administration of contrast material if appropriate pulse sequences were applied, glioblastomas and intracranial metastases required Gd-DTPA administration for diagnostically sufficient tumor display.