This magnetic resonance (MR) imaging study was approved by the institutional review board and was HIPAA compliant. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. The purpose of the study was to prospectively compare T1-weighted inversion recovery with short inversion time inversion recovery (STIR) and dual fast spin echo (FSE) for imaging cervical spinal cord lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Twelve patients (eight men, four women; median age, 44 years) were imaged by using T1-weighted inversion recovery, STIR, and FSE. Contrast between lesions and normal cervical cord was measured for each sequence, and generalized estimating equation analysis was used to test statistical significance of the results. Normalized contrast between lesion and normal-appearing spinal cord was significantly higher for T1-weighted inversion recovery than for the other sequences (P < .0001). Use of phase-sensitive reconstruction improved lesion localization and boundary definition. These advantages of T1-weighted inversion recovery over STIR and dual-echo FSE suggest that it has potential in cervical spinal cord imaging of MS.