High-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed in three patients with clinically diagnosed acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Contrast enhanced CT was normal in all cases. Magnetic resonance demonstrated multiple foci of demyelination in the brain stem, cerebrum, and cerebellum. Lesions were characteristic, in that they were relatively few in number, frequently present in the brain stem and posterior fossa, nonhemorrhagic, asymmetric, and easily correlated with clinical symptoms and signs. Follow-up MR in one patient who had clinically improved after steroid therapy showed marked resolution of previously documented lesions. Typical MR findings in combination with the appropriate clinical presentation can confirm the diagnosis of ADEM, obviate other more invasive diagnostic tests, identify the extent and sites of involvement, and follow response to therapy.