To investigate the potential of gadolinium (Gd)-ethoxybenzyl (EOB)-diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) for evaluating liver function, chemically induced hepatitis animal models were studied. The rats in group 1 underwent intraperitoneal administration of 2.0 ml/kg and those in group 2 underwent intraperitoneal administration of .5 ml/kg of 50% (V/V) carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) solution. The rats in group 3 served as controls. For rats of each group, the signal intensity of the liver was measured on T1-weighted spin-echo MR images acquired before and until 60 minutes after an intravenous injection of Gd-EOB-DTPA. The remaining rats in each group underwent indocyanine green test, serologic examination, or measurement of prothrombin time. Liver enhancement was compared with results of the other examinations. The degree of liver enhancement with Gd-EOB-DTPA was decreased and the washout of contrast was prolonged in the CCl4-administered groups. In this animal model, both hepatic dysfunction and liver enhancement were dose-dependent. MRI with Gd-EOB-DTPA has the potential to evaluate hepatic function.