The findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 73 surgically verified intracranial meningiomas were correlated with their histology and consistency during resection. T 1-weighted imaging was least useful since most of the tumours were iso-intense, similar to cortical grey matter regardless of histology or tumour consistency. The signal intensity on T2-weighted images was found to best correlate with both the histology and consistency of the meningioma. Generally, the low intensity portion of the tumour on T2-weighted images indicated a more fibrous and harder character, while the higher intensity portions indicated a more soft character. Most of the fibroblastic meningiomas showed the features of a hard tumour while angioblastic tumours showed the features of soft tumours. Tumours predicted to be harder on MR imaging generally took longer to resect than softer ones, and this relationship was shown best for the larger tumours. Using linear regression analysis, it appears that operative time for soft tumours is more affected by factors other than tumour consistency. Blood loss during surgery was also unrelated to the consistency of the tumour. These results suggest that the histology and consistency of meningiomas may be predictable from findings on T2-weighted imaging, and this may also predict the difficulty and time required for resection.