The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in MR findings of adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the uterine cervix and to compare MR findings with pathologic findings. MR images of 17 patients with pathologically proven AC, using a fast spin-echo (FSE) T2-weighted image (T2WI) with pelvic phased-array coil on a 1.5-T unit, were retrospectively evaluated. After measurement of the signal intensity (SI) ratios of the region of interest between tumors and gluteus maximus muscle, we compared the ratios of AC with those of 16 patients with SCC. AC showed relatively high SI on FSE T2WI with multiseptated lesions in four cases and hydrometrocolpos in three cases. The mean SI ratio was 3.82 +/- 1.68 in AC and 2.35 +/- 0.42 in SCC (p < 0.0001, t-test). Multiple tumorous glands with cytoplasmic and intraglandular mucin or serous fluid were pathologically found in AC, but SCC revealed the compact cellularity of stratified squamous tumor cells. The cervical AC showed higher SI than SCC on FSE T2WI with occasional multiseptated lesions and hydrometrocolpos. If the SI ratio of the tumor was more than 3.0, AC could be diagnosed with a sensitivity of 68.8% and a specificity of 100%.