PURPOSE: To determine the value of Gd-DTPA enhanced fat-suppression(GEFS) MR imaging in the characterization and differentiation of benign from malignant ovarian tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MRI findings of thirty-seven patients with surgically proved 44 ovarian tumors (30 benign, 14 malignant) were studied retrospectively. MR imaging with conventional spin echo (CSE;Tl-weighted image TR/TE 450/20, T2-weighted image TR/TE 3500/30, 90) and GEFS were performed with a 1.5T GE signa. MRI findings of tumors including cystic or solid, wall and septal thickness, necrosis, invasion to adjacent organ, ascites and lymphadenopathy were assessed separately by using CSE and GEFS images, and then tumors were characterized as benign or malignant. RESULTS: Compared with CSE image, GEFS MR image showed better visualization of solid component in 5 malignant lesions, wall thickness in 5 malignant and 1 benign lesions, septal thickness in 3 malignant and 1 benign lesions, necrosis in 1 malignant lesion, and adjacent soft tissue invasion in 5 malignant lesions. Correct characterization of malignant tumors was increased from 71% on CSE image to 93% on GEFS image. However, correct characterization of benign tumors was 93% on both images. CONCLUSION: GEFS MR imaging could be useful for characterization of ovarian tumors, especially in malignant cases, and employed for differentiation of benign from malignant tumors.