Two quantitative methods were developed for investigation of the potential of MRI for in vivo monitoring of retinal damage and detachment in experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Measurements of retinal thickness and detachment area were performed on matched MR and histologic (HIST) images of rat eyes at different stages of EAU. In vivo MR images of rat eyes were acquired at 4.7 T using a figure-of-eight surface coil and a spin echo pulse sequence. Ex vivo measurements were performed on HIST images acquired using a digital camera attached to a microscope. MR images mirrored the HIST appearance of inflamed eyes at each stage of disease. Retinal detachments as small as 0.1 mm(2) were measured in vivo by MRI and confirmed in the same eye ex vivo by histology. Measurements performed on corresponding MR and HIST images demonstrated a good agreement between the two techniques. The potential of MRI for in vivo visualization and for monitoring changes in the eye during development of EAU was demonstrated in this study.