Eighty-five infants, 82 of whom were 29-44 weeks postconceptional age, were imaged with a 0.6-T magnet. Eight infants had cerebral infarction. In premature neonates with very water, low-intensity white matter on T1-weighted images, ultrasound was better than both computed tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in depicting parenchymal changes of infarction or edema. However, after 37 weeks gestation, MR imaging was superior. Cerebral atrophy, present in seven infants, was consistent with subarachnoid space widths of 7 mm or more, or subarachnoid space widths of 5-6 mm with ventricular/brain ratios of 0.36 or greater. Delayed myelination was seen in a total of 18 infants with histories of hypoxic-ischemic insult. MR imaging shows promise in the neonatal period. It facilitates recognition of infarcts in full-term infants and may be used to predict abnormal neurologic outcome in infants who have initial delayed myelination.