Twelve large or giant intracranial aneurysms were studied with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and the findings were compared with those from computed tomographic (CT) scanning. Characteristic MR features of such aneurysms are: round, extra-axial mass with hypointensity rim; signal void, paradoxical enhancement, or even-echo rephasing due to blood flow; and laminated, eccentric thrombus with increased signal intensity when fresh, perianeurysmal hemorrhage occurs in the acute or subacute stage after aneurysmal rupture. MR imaging, however, often fails to identify or characterize the area of calcification. For the diagnosis of large or giant intracranial aneurysms, MR imaging is apparently superior to CT scanning in differentiating aneurysms from tumors, delineating the blood flow and intraluminal thrombus, and detecting the exact size of the aneurysm. It may also provide useful information concerning the growth mechanisms of aneurysms with or without thrombus formation. (author).