A rapid technique for mapping of T(2) relaxation times is presented. The method is based on the conventional single-echo spin echo approach but uses a much shorter pulse repetition time to accelerate data acquisition. The premise of the new method is the use of a constant difference between the echo time and pulse repetition time, which removes the conventional and restrictive requirement of pulse repetition time >> T(1). Theoretical and simulation investigations were performed to evaluate the criteria for accurate T(2) measurements. Measured T(2)s were shown to be within 1% error as long as the key criterion of pulse repetition time/T(2) > or =3 is met. Strictly, a second condition of echo time/T(1) << 1 is also required. However, violations of this condition were found to have minimal impact in most clinical scenarios. Validation was conducted in phantoms and in vivo T(2) mapping of healthy cartilage and brain. The proposed method offers all the advantages of single-echo spin echo imaging (e.g., immunity to stimulated echo effects, robustness to static field inhomogeneity, flexibility in the number and choice of echo times) in a considerably reduced amount of time and is readily implemented on any clinical scanner.