Surgical treatment of patients with tetralogy of Fallot requires accurate definition of all anatomic structures, particularly the central pulmonary arteries. Magnetic resonance (MR) images of 22 patients with tetralogy of Fallot were studied to assess their usefulness in providing information regarding the spectrum of anatomic abnormalities in this condition. MR findings were compared with information obtained at catheterization (in 16 patients) and at surgery (in nine patients), both of which were performed within 3 months of MR imaging. Ventricular chamber enlargement and wall hypertrophy were clearly delineated in most of the 17 patients who were examined before definitive surgical repair, and ventricular septal defects were visualized in all 17. Palliative systemic-to-pulmonary shunts were visualized in 11 patients and could be evaluated for patency. Most important, the morphology and size of the right ventricular outflow tract and central pulmonary arteries could be accurately assessed. Pulmonary artery measurements obtained from MR images demonstrated excellent correlation with angiographic measurements. In six patients examined after complete surgical repair, MR images accurately reflected changes in pulmonary artery outflow tract morphology and complications, such as residual pulmonary artery stenosis and thrombosis. The findings suggest that MR imaging can complement or obviate catheterization in the evaluation of tetralogy of Fallot with regard to suitability for definitive surgical repair.