This study was designed to evaluate with magnetization transfer imaging (MTI) and conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging the manifestation of diffuse axonal injury (DAI) in an animal model of injury via nonimpact coronal plane rotational acceleration. A second objective was to investigate the diagnostic use of quantitative MTR imaging based on statistical parameters in a single subject, as opposed to grouped analysis. Seven mini-swine were subjected to brain trauma known to produce isolated DAI and to MR imaging at two time points. Following sacrifice, the brains were harvested for histopathologic examination. Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) maps were generated for double-blinded comparison of regions with abnormal MTR values and regions with documented DAI. Positive and negative predictive values for MTR detection of DAI were 67 and 56%, respectively, and in acute studies alone, 89 and 61%. Gains in sensitivity over conventional imaging for detection of DAI were demonstrated.