The spinal cords of 28 scoliosis patients between the ages of 1 month and 17 years were examined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Complete visualization was obtained in all cases. In 15 patients (53%) neuropathologic abnormalities demonstrated by MR imaging significantly affected their clinical course, including tethered cords (n = 7), syringomyelia (n = 5), Arnold-Chiari I malformation (n = 4), spinal cord tumors (n = 2), Arnold-Chiari II malformation (n = 3), and diastematomyelia (n = 1). The advantages of MR imaging in the evaluation of the scoliotic spine in children include a high sensitivity for the occult conditions associated with scoliosis, good anatomic demonstration of the cord, and absence of bone artifacts. MR imaging is recommended as a primary imaging modality in scoliosis, following conventional radiography.