The aim of this study was to compare conventional 2D FLAIR and single-slab 3D FLAIR sequences in the detection of lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis. Eight patients with MS were examined at 3.0 T by using a 2D FLAIR sequence and a single-slab 3D FLAIR sequence. A comparison of lesion detectability was performed for the following regions: periventricular, nonperiventricular/juxtacortical and infratentorial. The contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) between lesions and brain tissue and CSF were calculated for each sequence. A total of 424 lesions were found using the 2D FLAIR sequence, while with the 3D FLAIR sequence 719 lesions were found. With the 2D FLAIR sequence, 41% fewer lesions were detected than with the 3D FLAIR sequence. Further, 40% fewer supratentorial and 62.5% fewer infratentorial lesions were found with the 2D FLAIR sequence. In images acquired with the 3D FLAIR sequence, the lesions had significantly higher CNRs than in images acquired with the 2D FLAIR sequence. These are the first results using a single-slab 3D FLAIR sequence at 3.0 T for detection of lesions in patients with MS. With the 3D FLAIR sequence significantly higher CNRs were achieved and significantly more lesions in patients with MS were detected.