As well as the long-T2 relaxation components normally detected with conventional imaging techniques, the brain has short-T2 components. We wished to use ultra-short (0.08 ms) echo time (UTE) pulse sequences to assess the feasibility of imaging these in normal subjects and patients. UTE sequences were employed, with or without fat suppression, 90 degree long-T2 suppression pulses, and selective nulling of long-T2 components using an inversion pulse. Subtraction of later echoes from the first was also used to reduce the signal from long-T2 components. We studied dive normal subjects and 15 patients with various diseases. Short-T2 components were demonstrated in grey and white matter. Increased signal from these components was seen in meningeal disease, probable calcification, presumed cavernomas, melanoma metastases and probable gliosis. Reduced signal was seen in some tumours, infarcts, mild multifocal vascular disease and vasogenic oedema. Further development and evaluation of these pulse sequences is warranted.