The somatostatin analogue [111In-DTPA-d-Phe1]-octreotide (111In-octreotide) allows scintigraphic visualization of somatostatin receptor-expressing tissue. While it is well known that a large variety of tissues express somatostatin receptors and 111In-octreotide scintigraphy has a clearly defined role in various neuroendocrine diseases, the clinical value of 111In-octreotide scintigraphy in brain tumours is still under clinical investigation. In 124 patients with 141 brain lesions (63 meningiomas, 24 pituitary adenomas, 10 gliomas WHO class I and II, 12 gliomas WHO class III and IV, 11 neurinomas and 2 neurofibromas, 7 metastases and 12 other varieties: three non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas, two epidermoids, one abscess, one angioleiomyoma, one chordoma, one haemangiopericytoma, one osteosarcoma, one plasmacytoma and one pseudocyst), 111In-octreotide scintigraphy was performed 4-6 and 24 h after i.v. injection of 110-220 MBq 111In-octreotide. Planar images of the head in four views with a 128x128 matrix and single-photon emission tomographic images (64x64 matrix) were acquired, and lesions were graded according to qualitative tracer uptake. Fifty-nine of the 63 meningiomas showed moderate to intense tracer uptake. Nine of 24 pituitary adenomas were visible; the remaining 15 did not show any tracer uptake. None of the class I and II gliomas with an intact blood-brain barrier were detected whereas 11/12 class III and IV gliomas showed 111In-octreotide uptake. None of the neurinomas or neurofibromas were positive. Five of seven metastases were classified as positive, as were the osteosarcoma, two of three non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas, one abscess, one angioleiomyoma, one chordoma and one haemangiopericytoma. The other varieties (one non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma, two epidermoids, one plasmacytoma and one pseudocyst) did not show 111In-octreotide uptake. The results demonstrate that a large variety of intracranial lesions express somatostatin receptors and therefore can be visualized by [111In-DTPA-d-Phe1]-octreotide scintigraphy. This technique can be valuable in the differentiation between meningiomas and pituitary adenomas, based on qualitative tracer uptake. [111In-DTPA-d-Phe1]-octreotide scintigraphy allows differentiation between meningiomas and neurinomas or neurofibromas and therefore provides complementary information to computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, this technique allows differentiation between scar tissue and recurrent meningiomas postoperatively and can help in non-invasive tumour differentiation of multiple intracranial lesions, which can be of value in defining the most adequate therapeutic strategy.