PURPOSE We aimed both at improving image quality and diagnostic value of pancreatic MRI by using fast multislice imaging techniques and at demonstrating normal and pathologic signal enhancement in the pancreas after i.v. gadopentate-dimeglumine. METHODS MR imaging at was performed in 30 patients with suspicion of pancreatic neoplasm or chronic disease and in 15 patients without pancreatic abnormalities. RESULTS SNR, CNR, mean signal enhancement, and time/signal-intensity curves were calculated. Signal enhancement after i.v. Gd-DTPA averaged 34.4% in neoplasms (n = 14) vs 58.8% in pancreatic tissue not involved by tumour (p < 0.05) in T1-w SE and was also significant in the T1-w GE sequence (p < 0.005). CNR (pancreas vs lesion) and SNR improved significantly (p < 0.005; pancreas: p < 0.001; lesion: p < 0.05) after i.v. Gd-DTPA administration. In patients without pancreatic disease enhancement curves of pancreas demonstrate a rapid signal increase (79.0% after 34 s). Patients with adenocarcinoma or chronic pancreatitis demonstrated flattened signal intensity curves and higher peak signal intensity values (90.1, 111.3% after 68 s). The slope of signal increase of neoplastic tissue was significantly different (p < 0.01) from unaffected parenchyma (48.3% after 51 s, 90.1% after 68 s). CONCLUSION MR imaging with fast T2-w SE and T1-w SE sequences provides excellent visualisation of the pancreas and adequate conspicuity of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Following i.v. Gd-DTPA significant enhancement of tumour/parenchyma contrast is found.