Detection and evaluation of aortic root and other cardiovascular abnormalities in patients with Marfan's syndrome are important in determining appropriate therapy and preventing premature mortality. To evaluate the role of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) in this syndrome, 10 patients were evaluated using a 0.35 tesla commercial nuclear magnetic resonance imaging system. Findings from these studies were compared with data from other noninvasive tests as well as surgical follow-up. Results from these examinations indicate that NMR-derived measurements of aortic root diameter agree closely with echocardiographic measurements. In addition, NMR provides more complete anatomic detail than does echocardiography and can be utilized to assess and follow up virtually all patients with this syndrome.