Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of 36 temporomandibular joints (TMJs) in 27 patients and six healthy volunteers was performed before and after injection of gadopentetate dimeglumine. Twelve asymptomatic joints were used as controls, 12 TMJs had symptomatic internal derangement, and 12 TMJs had rheumatic inflammatory disease. A small or moderate joint effusion was seen in one asymptomatic joint, four joints with internal derangement, and one joint with rheumatic involvement; in all of these, contrast enhancement of the effusion was observed. A large effusion in one rheumatic joint was enhanced only after delayed imaging. In healthy controls and patients with internal derangement, no or only minimal enhancement of intraarticular tissues was seen. Eleven of the 12 rheumatic TMJs showed moderate or intense soft-tissue enhancement along the disk and articular surfaces (ie, in areas normally devoid of synovial membrane). The one rheumatic joint without enhancement had bony ankylosis and no remaining soft tissue within the joint space. Gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of the TMJ may effectively depict the proliferating synovium of rheumatic inflammatory joint disease.