BACKGROUND The presence of muscularis propria invasion by bladder cancer is a key factor in prognosis and treatment decisions, although may be missed by biopsy due to sampling error. MRI has shown potential for detection of muscle invasion but has not specifically been evaluated for this purpose in the setting of bladder cancer patients without evidence of muscle invasion on initial biopsy. PURPOSE To evaluate the role of MRI in detection of muscularis propria invasion by bladder cancer following a pathologic diagnosis of non-invasive tumor. MATERIAL AND METHODS This retrospective study included 23 patients who underwent pelvic MRI following a pathologic diagnosis of bladder cancer without muscularis propria invasion and in whom additional histologic evaluation was performed following MRI. Two radiologists in consensus reviewed T2-weighted images to identify those cases suspicious for muscle invasion on MRI. The radiologists identified whether cases suspicious for invasion demonstrated disruption of the T2-hypointense muscularis layer of the bladder wall, peri-vesical fat stranding, and peri-vesical soft tissue nodularity. Findings were compared with pathologic results obtained after MRI. RESULTS Suspicion was raised for muscle invasion in eight of 23 cases, four of which exhibited invasion on follow-up pathology. No case without suspicion on MRI exhibited invasion on follow-up pathology. Therefore, sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 79%, respectively. Among individual findings, muscularis disruption on T2WI exhibited sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 79%, peri-vesical fat stranding exhibited sensitivity and specificity of 50% and 84%, and peri-vesical soft tissue nodularity exhibited sensitivity and specificity of 25% and 100%. CONCLUSION MRI demonstrated high sensitivity for detection of muscle invasion in cases of bladder cancer without invasion on initial histologic assessment. Muscularis disruption on T2WI appeared to exhibit a better combination of sensitivity and specificity than did peri-vesical changes.