Longitudinal relaxation times (T1) of 20 brain tumors were calculated in vivo using a whole-body magnetic resonance unit with a 0.15-T resistive magnet. Images employing standard inversion recovery pulse sequences with different intervals between the 180 degrees pulse and selective excitation pulses were compared on every point of the 256 X 256 pixel matrix. Tumor, white matter, and gray matter were sampled from each patient from the computed T1 image for T1 measurement. Astrocytomas, neurinomas, and metastatic tumors showed longer T1 values than did meningiomas. Lipomas had the shortest T1s. It is concluded that it is difficult to predict histological types of brain tumors by the measurement of T1 alone because of the wide variation in relaxation times, but measurement of T1 can be helpful in differentiating brain tumors when additional information about the patient's condition is known.