The histogenesis of dural-based or "central" hemangiopericytomas (cHPCs) remains controversial. Some authors consider these tumors variants of meningiomas while others consider them akin to peripheral hemangiopericytomas (pHPCs). Meningiomas frequently have mutations in the neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) gene, providing a molecular marker for meningiomas and other NF2-related tumors. We therefore analyzed the NF2 gene in cHPCs, pHPCs, and meningiomas to determine whether cHPCs are more similar at the molecular genetic level to meningiomas or pHPCs. Using paraffin-embedded archival material from 28 cHPCs (including three primary and recurrent tumors), 10 pHPCs, and 26 meningiomas, we scanned all 17 exons of the NF2 gene and flanking intronic sequences for mutations with single strand conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. No NF2 mutations were found in either cHPCs or pHPCs, whereas 35% of meningiomas had NF2 gene alterations (P < 0.001). The NF2 gene mutations in meningiomas were all truncating mutations, consistent with previous studies. Our findings suggest that cHPCs are distinct from meningiomas at the molecular genetic level and support prior clinico-pathological data that distinguish these tumor-entities.