Disease of the thoracic aorta can present with a broad clinical spectrum of symptoms and signs. The accepted diagnostic gold standard, selective digital subtraction angiography, is now being challenged by state-of-the-art CT angiography (CTA) and MR angiography(MRA). Currently, in many centers, cross-sectional imaging modalities are being used as the first line of diagnosis to evaluate the cardiovascular system, and conventional angiography is reserved for therapeutic intervention. Understanding the principles of CTA and MRA techniques is essential to acquire diagnostic images consistently. This article reviews current CTA and MRA methods used in the evaluation of thoracic aortic disease.