Cardiovascular magnetic resonance is a well validated, highly accurate and reproducible technique for the assessment of ventricular volumes, function and mass. State of the art cardiovascular magnetic resonance practice is capable of a ventricular assessment that includes not only systolic but also diastolic function. Thus, it provides an insight into the complex changes in ventricular morphology, physiology and function in cardiovascular disease. This has produced great interest not only in its clinical utilization but also as an important research tool. As refinement of the technique continues to incorporate hardware and software developments, the technique becomes quicker, more accurate and easier to analyse. Here, we review recent developments and current practice.