The authors evaluate paradoxical diaphragmatic motion using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in patients with emphysema. The subjects were 12 healthy volunteers and 10 male patients with moderate to severe air flow obstruction. With subjects in the supine position, 30 sequential sagittal images of the bilateral lungs were obtained during quiet and forced breathing using a 1.5T MR unit with a body coil. The sequence was single shot fast spin echo (SSFSE) with half Fourier transformation. Subtraction images were made from the original images (by subtracting a given image from the preceding image), which visualized the chest wall motion as white or black bands on the edge of the lung fields. The authors evaluated both the original and subtraction images. MR imaging showed abnormal hemidiaphragmatic motion during forced breathing: the ventral portion of the hemidiaphragm moved downward while the dorsal part moved upward like a seesaw in 6 patients. MR images also revealed abnormal ribcage motion; the ventral ribcage moved anteriorly when the hemidiaphragm moved upward in 7 patients. No abnormal motion was observed in healthy volunteers. MR is a noninvasive and useful tool for evaluating the asynchronous respiratory motion in patients with emphysema.