Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a completely noninvasive technique for the evaluation of the cardiovascular system. With a multi-section technique and the spin echo pulse sequence the entire heart can be examined within six to ten minutes. All our cardiac MR studies were performed with electrocardiographic (ECG) gating, to obtain adequate resolution of the cardiac structures. With this technique, patients and animals with a variety of cardiac abnormalities were studied. The examined pathologic conditions included acute and chronic myocardial infarctions and their complications, hypertrophic and congestive cardiomyopathies, congenital heart diseases and pericardial diseases. MRI offers an enormous potential for cardiovascular diagnosis, even beyond the demonstration of pathoanatomy, because of the capability for direct tissue characterization and blood flow measurements.