Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed in 23 patients (25 tumors) with proved bladder neoplasmas. MR studies were retrospectively evaluated and compared with computed tomographic (CT) and pathologic findings. Bladder neoplasms, having a signal intensity intermediate between those of urine and perivesical fat, were best seen on T1-weighted and proton-density images. MR imaging was as accurate as technically well-performed CT studies in detecting extravesical tumor extension. MR could additionally be used to assess the integrity of the bladder wall. On T2-weighted images the normal bladder wall appeared as a thin, linear, low-intensity structure. The disruption of this low-intensity line was indicative of deep muscle invasion, whereas preservation of this low intensity line implied a more localized lesion. Although chemical shift artifacts might cause apparent disruption of the bladder wall, knowledge of this artifact coupled with additional imaging along different planes helps avoid misinterpretation of this artifact as deep muscle invasion.