Brain injury occurring in the perinatal period is an important etiology of subsequent neurodevelopmental disabilities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a tool that is used to evaluate the nature of brain injury in the human infant. MRI techniques have also been applied to various animal models of perinatal injury. The most commonly used model is the immature rat, but there have also been imaging studies in mice, rabbit kits and piglets. The studies have been carried out using MR systems of various magnetic field strengths, ranging from 1.5 to 11.7tesla (T), with applications for quantification of infarct volume, T1 measurements, T2 measurements, proton and phosphorus spectroscopy and diffusion imaging. The MR findings are then related to histopathology and, in a few cases, behavioral evaluations. There is also a growing number of studies utilizing MRI in evaluating the efficacy of neuroprotective treatments, such as hypothermia.