PURPOSE: Authors reviewed CT and MR findings of patients with parapharyngeal masses, and their incidence and characteristic findings were studied. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed 27 CT and 9 MR of pathologically proven 29 patients with primary parapharyngeal mass Neurogenic tumor (17 cases) and other rare masses (3 carotid body tumors, 2 pleomorphic adenomas, 2 cavernous hemangiomas, 1 cavernous lymphangioma, 2 carotid artery pseudoaneurysms, 1 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 1 idiopathic cervical fibrosis) were included and the characteristic CT and MR findings were studied. RESULTS: Neurilemmoma was seen as a well-demarcated, solid mass of heterogeneous attenuation or intensity, so that pleomorphic adenoma of minor salivary gland origin could not be differentiated by demarcation, attenuation, or signal intensity of the tumor itself. The direction of carotid artery displacement was not constant in cases of neurilemmomas while the styloid process was constantly displaced laterally in all cases. Characteristic CT and MR findings of other rare tumors were described. CONCLUSION: Neurogenic tumor is the most common parapharyngeal space mass and the direction of displacement of styloid process might be helpful in differential diagnosis from pleomorphic adenoma. Other rare tumors showed very characteristic CT and MR finidings and could be differentiated easily.