Transgenic mouse models of human diseases have gained increasing importance in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). As an indirect measure of vascular stiffness, aortic pulse-wave velocity (PWV) is an important predictor of cardiovascular risk. This study presents an MRI approach that uses a flow area method to estimate local aortic pulse-wave velocity at different sites in the murine aorta. By simultaneously measuring the cross-sectional area and the through-plane velocity with a phase-contrast CINE method, it was possible to measure average values for the PWV in the ascending and descending aorta within the range of 2.4–4.3 m/s for C57BL/6J mice (ages 2 and 8 months) and apoE-knockout mice (age 8 months). Statistically significant differences of the mean values of the PWV of both groups could be determined. By repeating CINE measurements with a time delay of 1 ms between two subsequent data sets, an effective temporal resolution of 1000 frames/s (fps) could be achieved. Magn Reson Med, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.