PURPOSE: To investigate the behavior and potential application of the hepatobiliary magnetic resonance (MR) imaging contrast agent gadolinium-ethoxybenzyl (EOB)-diethylene-triamine-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) in cholestasis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rat models of selective biliary obstruction (SBO) (n = 20) and total biliary obstruction (TBO) (n = 14) were used. Serial Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MR images were obtained, and the findings were correlated with serologic, microcholangiographic, and histologic findings. RESULTS: In SBO rats, statistically significantly prolonged enhancement of ligated lobes occurred during the acute phase (P < .01) but was absent during the chronic phase owing to bile collateral vessels. In TBO rats, statistically significantly lower liver enhancement (P < .01) was observed as long as the obstruction persisted, until collateral bile ducts developed. CONCLUSION: The distinction between obstructed and unobstructed liver on Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MR images suggests a novel application for visualizing cholestasis.