Thirty nine patients with one or more focal hepatic lesions were examined by contrast enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A variety of pulse sequences--spin echo (SE), gradient echo (GE) and inversion recovery (IR)--have been reported in the literature on MRI concerning the detection and characterization of liver tumors. Multiple studies have compared MRI at different field strengths to CT. As controversy still exists concerning the optimal pulse sequence on MRI, CE-CT has been compared to T2 weighted SE sequence in this study. CT, as well as MRI, identified abnormalities in liver parenchyma in all patients. As far as detection of hepatic lesions is concerned, MRI and CE-CT were equal in 35 cases and MRI was superior in the other four cases. However, CT remains the examination of choice for detection of focal lesions, due to the short examination time, the low cost and the superiority in detection of extrahepatic pathology.