High-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) images of the hands and wrists of 12 patients with a variety of suspected pathologic conditions were obtained at 1.5 T using a prototype surface coil. Lesions included ganglions, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arteriovenous malformations. In the selected cases studied, MR images provided potentially relevant information. Surgical, pathologic, and radiographic correlations were obtained. MR imaging affords delineation of soft-tissue structure that is unmatched by other imaging methods, including computed tomography. It is anticipated that MR imaging of the hand and wrist will afford sufficient valuable clinical information in certain conditions to justify its expense outside a research setting. Further clinical testing, however, is warranted.