We present a spoiler sequence which substantially eliminates residual transverse magnetization in rapid magnetic resonance imaging. Such magnetization is due to the repetition time TR being on the order of or shorter than the transverse relaxation time T2. This sequence was designed using computer simulation methods to model the slice profile and signal. The spoiler pulse is applied in the slice-selecting direction and the magnitude of the gradient spoiler is incremented with each repetition as an arithmetic series. A finite number of different spoiler amplitudes is repeated with a cycle time several times greater than the anticipated T2. Each spoiler is shown to nullify the residual transverse magnetization from the just-measured signal of the experiment as well as that from preceding repetitions. It is shown experimentally that the spoiler pulse can be as short as 2 ms. This is considerably shorter than existing methods using constant spoiling or phase-tagged spoiling. This sequence was used to acquire. T1-weighted images free of the central line artifact of FLASH imaging. Furthermore, images formed with the new spoiled technique are shown to have contrast-to-noise comparable if not superior to standard T 1-weighted spin-echo images while taking only a fifth of the scan time. © 1990 Academic Press, Inc.