The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic efficacy of single shot fast spin echo sequence (SSh-FSE), and single shot GRASE-sequence (SSh-GRASE) to the conventional T(2)-weighted fast spin echo-sequence (T(2)-FSE) in the imaging of brain disorders. Thirty three patients with high signal intensity lesions on T(2)-weighted images (n = 28), or intracerebral hemorrhage (n = 5), were examined on a 1.0 T MR scanner, with 23 mT/m gradient strength. The scan time for the conventional T(2)-FSE-sequence was 2 min 57 s, the scan time for the single shot-FSE-, and single shot-GRASE-sequences was 11 sec, and 17 sec, respectively. Twenty-one patients remained still during the examination, whereas 12 could not stay still with consecutive marked motion artifacts. Images were reviewed by three radiologists. Lesion conspicuity, image quality, and artifacts were scored on a subjective scale. Signal-to-noise ratios of lesions and normal tissue and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) were measured by region of interest (ROI). In the patient group without motion artifacts conspicuity for lesions > or =5 mm did not show a significant difference on conventional T(2)-FSE, single shot-FSE and single shot-GRASE. Detectability of the smaller lesions was significantly inferior on single shot-FSE-, and single shot-GRASE-sequences in artifact free images. For the patient group with motion artifacts SSh-FSE and SSh-GRASE were markedly superior to the conventional T(2)-FSE. Grey-white differentiation was better on conventional T(2)-FSE. Physiologic ferritin as well as pathologic hemosiderin depositions were slightly darker and therefore better visible on SSh-GRASE than on SSh-FSE. Conventional T(2)-FSE showed significantly more artifacts. In conclusion, SSh-FSE and SSh-GRASE imaging can be used for rapid imaging of the brain in those patients who are claustrophobic or in patients with involuntary movements due to extrapyramidal disorders, as well as in children in whom anesthesia is contraindicated or sedation is not possible.