PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerance of postoperative external radiotherapy for patients with intracranial meningiomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The records of thirty three patients with intracranial meningiomas who were treated with postoperative external irradiation at our institution between Feb, 1988 and Nov, 1999 were retrospectively analyzed. Median age of patients at diagnosis was 53 years with range of 17 to 68 years. Sites of involvement were parasagital, cerebral convexity, sphenoid ridge, parasellar and tentorium cerebelli. Of 33 evaluated patients, 15 transitional, 10 meningotheliomatous, 4 hemangiopericytic, 3 atypical and 1 malignant meningioma were identified. Four patients underwent biopsy alone and remaining 29 patients underwent total tumor resection. A dose of 50 to 60 Gy was delivered in 28-35 daily fractions over a period of 5 to 7 weeks. Follow-up period ranged from 12 months to 8 years. RESULTS: The actuarial survival rates at 5 and 7 years for entire group of patients were 78% and 67%, respectively. The corresponding disease free survival rates were 73% and 61%, respectively. The overall local control rate at 5 years was 83%. One out of 25 patients in benign group developed local failure, while 4 out of 8 patients in malignant group did local failure (p<0.05). Of 4 patients who underwent biopsy alone, 2 developed local failure. There was no significant difference in 5 year actuarial survival between patients who underwent total tumor resection and those who did biopsy alone. Patients whose age is under 60 showed slightly better survival than those whose age is 60 or older, although this was not statistically significant. There was no documented late complications in any patients. CONCLUSION: Based on our study, we might conclude that postoperative external beam radiotherapy tends to improve survival of patients with intracranial meningiomas comparing with surgery alone.