Objective: To assess the value of MR angiography in combination with contrast-enhanced MR imaging, and to compare MR imaging including MR angiography with dynamic contrast-enhanced dual phase helical CT in the preoperative assessment of vascular invasion in patients with suspected pancreatic carcinoma. Methods and Material: MR imaging only, MR imaging including MR angiography and dynamic contrast-enhanced dual phase helical CT images of 48 patients who were operated due to suspicion of pancreas cancer were correlated with the surgery results in terms of vascular invasion. Pathologic diagnosis were pancreatic adenocarcinoma in 31 patients of which nine had surgically confirmed vascular invasion. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values (including 95% confidence intervals) and accuracy of MR imaging only, MR imaging including MR angiography and helical CT were calculated. Results: Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and accuracy were 56, 100, 100, 85, 87%; 67, 100, 100, 88, 90% and 67, 100, 100, 88, 90%, respectively, for MR imaging only, MR imaging including MR angiography and helical CT in the adenocarcinoma group. The corresponding figures in the overall study group were 56, 97, 83, 90, 90%; 67, 97, 86, 93, 92% and 67, 97, 86, 93, 92%. Confidence intervals (95%) showed that the differences in the diagnostic efficacy of the techniques were not statistically significant in the overall study group, but the confidence intervals were undefined in the adenocarcinoma group due to the small sample size. Conclusion: Diagnostic efficacy of MR imaging when combined with MR angiography is equal to that of dynamic contrast-enhanced dual phase helical CT in the assessment of vascular invasion of pancreatic tumors. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.