Magnetic resonance (MR) images--both nonenhanced and enhanced with gadolinium DTPA/dimeglumine (Gd)--were compared with high-iodine (88.1 g I) computed tomographic (HICT) scans in demonstrating lesions in 15 patients known to have multiple sclerosis (MS). T1-weighted, mixed (T1, proton density, and T2), and T2-weighted MR pulse sequences were used. More than 20 lesions in each of 14 patients were demonstrated by pre-Gd mixed images and T2WI. Nine patients had clinical symptoms of active disease. Gd-enhanced T1WI showed at least one lesion that appeared to correspond with newly reported symptoms or signs. In addition, three clinically stable patients showed enhancement. Enhancement was best seen on 3-minute T1WI. HICT scans showed enhancement in four of the nine patients with active disease and in none of five clinically stable patients. Gd-enhanced MR imaging appears to be more sensitive than HICT in the detection of the transient abnormalities of the blood-brain barrier that occur in patients with active MS and appears capable of distinguishing active lesions that may correspond to the anatomic regions responsible for abnormal clinical findings.