Magnetic resonance (MR) images and computed tomograms of 25 patients with head trauma were compared. MR proved to be superior in many ways for demonstrating extracerebral as well as intracerebral traumatic lesions. Isodense subdural hematomas, which present a diagnostic dilemma on CT images were clearly seen on MR, regardless of their varying CT densities. In a case of epidural hematoma, the dura mater was shown directly as nearly devoid of signal on MR. Direct coronal images provided excellent visualization of extracerebral collections along the peritentorial space and subtemporal area. In a patient with intracerebral hematoma, CT failed to demonstrate residual parenchymal changes in a 3-month follow-up study, but MR clearly depicted the abnormalities. The superiority of MR over CT was also well illustrated in a patient with post-traumatic osteomyelitis of the calvarium.