Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed in seven asymptomatic volunteers and 17 patients with clinical and radiologic evidence of sacroiliitis. MR imaging findings were compared with those at computed tomography (CT) to determine the MR imaging appearance of the sacroiliac joint when normal and in sacroiliitis. The normal articulation was well depicted with MR imaging. Findings of sacroiliitis were identified in 20 sacroiliac joints (12 patients). MR imaging findings characteristic of sacroiliitis included abnormal cartilage signal intensity (95% of joints) and erosions (75% of joints) on T1-weighted images. Areas of increased intensity in the articulation (80% of joints) or in erosions (60% of joints) were seen on T2-weighted images. MR imaging was superior to CT for evaluation of cartilage and detection of erosions. Four sacroiliac joints (20%) and two patients (17%) with MR imaging findings of sacroiliitis were negative at CT. The authors conclude that MR imaging is a valuable method for detecting sacroiliitis, particularly when results of other imaging techniques are inconclusive.