Objective: The exact nature of the "dural tail sign" (thickening of the dura adjacent to the tumour in contrast enhanced T1-MRI imaging) is still not clearly established. In this study we tried to verify the histological appearance of the "dural tail sign" and probable correlation between different MRI findings and dural tail histology. Material and methods: In this study, 129 patients with intracranial lesions underwent MRI imaging with 1.5 T scanner. The "dural tail sign" was defined using Goldsher et al. criteria. Size and pattern of enhancement of the tumour and adjacent dura was noted in MRI and in the pathologic samples, dural tail and the dura beneath the tumour was assessed. Results: In 30 cases, "dural tail sign" was evident on MRI, dural tail noted in 17 of these cases in histological samples (12 meningiomas, 3 pituitary adenomas and 2 schwannomas). All of them had vessel dilatation, 6 showed tumoural invasion, 4 demonstrated intravascular growth of the lesion and 1 showed inflammation of the dura. Conclusion: In our study MRI findings failed to predict tumoural invasion of the dural tail in histologic samples and because of frequent presence of tumour nests in it, the dura matter should be resected as widely as possible. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.