This study analyzes the accuracy of a new real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique (acquisition duration, 62 ms/image) and echocardiography for the determination of left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, ejection fraction, and muscle mass when compared with turbo gradient echo imaging as the reference standard. Thirty-four patients were examined with digital echocardiography, standard, and real-time MRI. A close correlation was found between the results of real-time imaging and the reference standard for end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, and ejection fraction (r >0.95), with a lower correlation for LV muscle mass (r = 0.81). Correlations between echocardiography and the reference standard were lower for all parameters. Real-time MRI enables the acquisition of high-quality cine loops of the entire heart in minimal time without electrocardiographic triggering or breath holding. Thus, patient setup and scan time can be reduced considerably. Results are similar to the reference standard and superior to echocardiography for determining LV volumes and ejection fraction. This technique is a valid alternative to current approaches and can form the basis of every cardiac MRI examination.