In this prospective study, 32 patients with symptoms suggestive of small-bowel disease underwent conventional enteroclysis and magnetic resonance (MR) enteroclysis. Image quality, luminal distension, wall thickening, homogeneity of luminal pacification, the presence of artefacts and extraluminal changes were assessed. Small-bowel pathologies were subsequently proved surgically and by follow-up examinations in 19 (59.4%) of the patients. Abnormal findings were detected by MR enteroclysis in 11 of these 19 patients (57.9%). Normal findings on MR enteroclysis were found in eight of the 19 patients (42.1%) whereas conventional enteroclysis detected abnormal findings in these patients. Abdominal lesions outside the small bowel, comprised renal cysts, cholelithiasis, ovarian cysts and horseshoe kidney, and were detected by MR enteroclysis in two, one, four and one, respectively, of these normal patients but not by conventional enteroclysis. Excluding lesions outside of the small bowel, a higher rate of false-negative results and the missing of superficial lesions occurred with MR enteroclysis. It is, therefore, suggested that MR enteroclysis should not be used as a primary way of evaluating small-bowel disease and its use should be restricted to follow-up examinations of known disease.