OBJECTIVE The maximal tumor diameter of cervical cancer is one of the most important prognosis factors concerning patients' survival. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficiency of different MRI-procedures in relation to clinical palpation concerning pretherapeutic tumor diameter assessment. MATERIAL AND METHODS Thirty-one patients with biopsy proven primary cervical cancer and its recurrence (n = 10), respectively, underwent dynamic and conventional MRI before further treatment. The results of maximal tumor diameters were compared to palpatory findings and then correlated to the whole mount specimen as gold standard. RESULTS The contrast-enhanced dynamic and T2-weighted MRI allows a significantly better (p < 0.05) assessment of maximal tumor diameter of cervical cancer than the conventional T1-weighted MRI. The T2-weighted MRI showed the highest correlation (r = 0.83) in respect to the whole mount specimen up to FIGO-IIB disease. The contrast-enhanced dynamic MRI and the palpation were characterized by the highest correlation coefficients of r = 0.77, r = 0.70 respectively, in advanced cervical cancer > FIGO-IIB disease. CONCLUSIONS The MRI procedures offer no evident advantage in relation to clinical palpation to determine the maximal tumor diameter of cervical cancer or its recurrency and seems not to be indicated generally.