Renal artery stenosis is a common cause of renal impairment which in many cases may be potentially reversible. The diagnosis and follow-up of this condition is commonly carried out using the relatively invasive technique of intra-arterial angiography. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is emerging as a possible alternative technique to conventional angiography. We have studied 60 patients who were referred for investigation of possible renal artery stenosis using both 3-D phase contrast MRA techniques and conventional digital arteriography. Studies were assessed prospectively and conventional angiography was assumed to be the gold standard for the purposes of this study. Calculated sensitivity and specificity results were 84% and 91% respectively, for 3-D phase contrast MRA of the renal arteries. We conclude that 3-D phase contrast MRA is a very promising technique for the noninvasive investigation of renal artery stenosis with high sensitivity and specificity levels acting as a screening test in the future for patients with this potential diagnosis, diminishing the amount of conventional angiograms that are performed.