OBJECTIVES: To prospectively evaluate the performance of unenhanced respiratory-gated magnetization-prepared 3D-SSFP inversion recovery MRA (unenhanced-MRA) to depict hepatic and visceral artery anatomy and variants in comparison to contrast-enhanced dynamic gradient-echo MRI (CE-MRI) and to digital subtraction angiography (DSA). METHODS: Eighty-four patients (55.6±12.4 years) were imaged with CE-MRI (TR/TE 3.5/1.7ms, TI 1.7ms, flip-angle 15°) and unenhanced-MRA (TR/TE 4.4/2.2ms, TI 200ms, flip-angle 90°). Two independent readers assessed image quality of hepatic and visceral arteries on a 4-point-scale. Vessel contrast was measured by a third reader. In 28 patients arterial anatomy was compared to DSA. RESULTS: Interobserver agreement regarding image quality was good for CE-MRI (κ=0.77) and excellent for unenhanced-MRA (κ=0.83). Unenhanced-MRA yielded diagnostic image quality in 71.6% of all vessels, whereas CE-MRI provided diagnostic image quality in 90.6% (p<0.001). Vessel-based image quality was significantly superior for all vessels at CE-MRI compared to unenhanced-MRA (p<0.01). Vessel contrast was similar among both sequences (p=0.15). Compared to DSA, CE-MRI and unenhanced-MRA yielded equal accuracy of 92.9-96.4% for depiction of hepatic and visceral artery variants (p=0.93). CONCLUSIONS: Unenhanced-MRA provides diagnostic image quality in 72% of hepatic and visceral arteries with no significant difference in vessel contrast and similar accuracy to CE-MRI for depiction of hepatic and visceral anatomy.