The purpose of this study was to examine hepatic lesions with a sequence designed to yield improved T2 measurements and evaluate the clinical utility of these measurements in distinguishing malignant from benign disease. Using a modified Carr-Purcell sequence incorporating features designed to compensate for imperfections in the imaging system, including a train of refocusing pulses emitted in an MLEV pattern oriented in composite fashion along all three coordinate axes, and a single spatially selective pulse placed immediately before a spiral readout, 14 benign lesions and 13 malignant lesions were evaluated prospectively with a conventional 1.5 T imager. The maximum, minimum, and mean T2 values of malignant lesions, hemangiomas, and cysts exceeded corresponding published values from spin-echo and echoplanar studies. The mean T2 value of the malignant lesions differed significantly (P < 0.0001) from those of hemangiomas and cysts. All malignant lesions and all benign lesions were distinguishable by their T2 values, which had ranges of no greater than 118.6 msec and no less than 134.3 msec, respectively. This early experience suggests that improved T2 measurements can facilitate the differentiation of hepatic malignancies from hemangiomas and cysts.