Fast MR imaging has matured in the past few years and is now of established value for several aspects of clinical MR imaging. The initial impetus for rapid imaging was to reduce scan times. Today its usefulness includes reducing motion artifacts, improved contrast per unit time, three-dimensional (3-D) imaging, real-time imaging, cine-mode imaging, and flow imaging. The focus of this review is on short-TR steady-state gradient-echo imaging. We discuss the basic sequence design of the mainstream fast techniques. Many important applications exist, including gadopentetate dimeglumine-enhanced MR imaging of the brain and spine, subsecond imaging of real-time applications, myelographic imaging of the spine, cardiac cine-mode imaging; 3-D musculoskeletal (knee) imaging, 3-D pituitary imaging; two-dimensional and 3-D body imaging; 3-D carotid and intravascular imaging, and reformatting 3-D images into arbitrary planes.