The histologic response of an osteosarcoma to preamputation high-dose methotrexate therapy can be used to determine the optimum maintenance chemotherapy regimen to be administered after amputation. This study evaluates computed tomography (CT) as a method of assessing the response of the tumor to the methotrexate therapy. Nine patients with nonmetastatic osteosarcoma of an extremity had a CT scan of the tumor at initial presentation. This was compared with a second CT scan after four courses of high-dose intravenous methotrexate. Each set of scans was evaluated for changes in bony destruction, soft-tissue mass, pattern of calcification, and extent of tumor involvement of the marrow cavity. These findings were correlated with the histologic response of the tumor as measured by the degree of tumor necrosis. The changes seen on CT correlated well with the degree of the histologic response in seven of the nine patients.