Major advances have been made in the ever-expanding field of magnetic resonance imaging and related technologies, such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy, haemodynamic and functional imaging. Although these magnetic resonance modalities are of great research interest, it is still questionable as to how useful these investigations are in the clinical setting. All of these modalities strive to define a few variables that might dominate the heterogeneous but common aetiopathology of traumatic brain injury. Recent studies have found that the use of various magnetic resonance imaging techniques at early and delayed time points can provide useful information with regard to the severity and clinical outcome of patients following traumatic brain injury. These new observations offer opportunities for improved clinical management in such patients.