PURPOSE: To evaluate the role of postoperative radiotherapy in the management of primary or recurrent intracranial meningiomas. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A retrospective review of 34 intracranial meningioma patients referred to the Yonsei Cancer Center for postoperative radiotherapy between 1981 and 1990 was undertaken. Of the 34 patients, 24 patients received elective postoperative radiotherapy after total or subtotal resection(Group 1), and 10 patients received postoperative radiotherapy as a salvage treatment for recurrent tumors(Group 2). Ten patients received postoperative radiotherapy after total resection, and twenty-four after subtotal resection. Ten patients who had total tumor resection were referred for radiotherapy either because of angioblastic or malignant histologic type (4 patients in Group 1) or because of recurrent disease after initial surgery(6 patients in Group 2). Radiation dose of 50-56Gy was delivered over a period of 5-5.5 weeks using 4MV LINAC or Co-60 teletherapy unit. RESULTS: Overall actuarial progression free survival (PFS) at 5 years was 80%. Survival was most likely affected by histologic subtypes. Five year PFS rate was 52% for benign angioblastic histology, as compared with 100% for classic benign histology. For malignant meningiomas, 5 year PFS rate was 44%. The recurrence rates of classic, angioblastic, and malignant type were 5%(1/21), 80%(4/5), and 50%(4/8), respectively. The duration between salvage post-operative radiotherapy and recurrence was longer than the duration between initial surgery and recurrence in the patients of group 2 with angioblastic or malignant histology. CONCLUSION: Postoperative radiotherapy of primary or recurrent intracranial meningiomas appears to be effective modality, especially in the patients with classic meningiomas. In angioblastic or malignant histologies, a more effective approach seems to be needed for decreasing recurrence rate.