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To determine the usefulness of high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) constructive interference in steady state (CISS) MRI for evaluating mural invasion and morphologic features in esophageal carcinomas.Twenty-four esophageal specimens with carcinomas were studied with a 1.5-T system using a 4-cm-diameter loop coil. High-resolution 3D-CISS MR images were obtained with a field of view (FOV) of 80 mm, matrix of 256 × 256, and section thickness of 0.5 mm (voxel size of 0.05 mm3). 3D-CISS MR images were compared with histopathologic findings, and virtual MR endoscopic images were compared with macroscopic findings at surgery.3D-CISS MR images clearly depicted the normal esophageal wall as consisting of eight layers, which correlated well with the histologic layers. In 22 of 24 esophageal carcinomas (92%), the depth of mural invasion visualized with 3D-CISS MRI correlated well with the histopathologic staging. In all 24 carcinomas (100%), virtual MR endoscopic images clearly depicted the macroscopic types of the carcinomas, including adjacent lymph node swelling.High-resolution 3D-CISS MRI has a high diagnostic accuracy for evaluating mural invasion and macroscopic findings in esophageal carcinomas, and may be applicable to preoperative histopathologic staging and morphologic evaluation.