14-Diarylimidazoline 3-oxides react with N-arylmaleimides in benzene to give predominantly the corresponding endo adducts. Chiral imidazoline 3-oxides react diastereospecifically (cis configuration of the tetrahydroimidazo ring) and diastereoselectively to give cis-endo adducts. The effects of substituents on the aromatic ring of the maleimide was investigated. The presence of electron-withdrawing or releasing group,; have minor effect on the total yields but more pronounced is the effect on the ratio of exo and endo diastereomers. The adducts undergo an interesting and unprecedented ring-opening in the presence of secondary amines to give deoxygenated 3-imidazoline 3-oxides instead of the expected double cis elimination products. Tertiary amines did not induce any reaction, (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.