The value of magnetic resonance (MR) to establish the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is well known. This study was undertaken to compare MR imaging of the brain of MS patients at high (1.5T) and mid (0.5T) field strength. 25 patients with MS underwent two consecutive MR studies within one hour, each consisting of axial proton density and T2-weighted spin-echo images. Lesions in the supratentorial white matter and corpus callosum and those in the brain stem and cerebellum were separately counted. At 1.5T significantly more lesions were seen than at 0.5T (p < 0.05). Although T2-weighted images at 1.5T added significant information compared to images obtained at 0.5T, in none of our 25 patients the diagnosis was missed at 0.5T. However, at 1.5T dissemination in space was better demonstrated, suggesting MR scanning with high field-units to be favourable in patients with clinically suspected MS.