The accuracy of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in staging invasive carcinoma of the cervix was determined retrospectively in 57 consecutive patients in whom the extent of disease was surgically confirmed. MR images were analyzed for (a) location and size of the primary tumor; (b) tumor extension to the uterine corpus, vagina, parametria, pelvic sidewall, bladder, or rectum; and (c) pelvic lymphadenopathy. The accuracy of MR imaging in determination of tumor location was 91% and for determination of tumor size within 0.5 cm, 70%. Its accuracy was 93% for vaginal extension and 88% for parametrial extension. Pelvic sidewall, bladder, and rectal involvement were accurately excluded in all patients, but the positive predictive values were 75%, 67%, and 100%, respectively. Overall, the accuracy of MR imaging in staging was 81%. MR imaging is valuable because it can accurately demonstrate tumor location, tumor size, degree of stromal penetration, and lower uterine segment involvement. It is also valuable for ruling out parametrial, pelvic sidewall, bladder, and rectal involvement.