Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling CNS disease of young adults. MRI is routinely used for the detection of MS plaques in the brain and spinal cord. A significant portion of patients with MS demonstrates spinal cord lesions at the time of initial workup, and these lesions are an important part of the McDonald criteria for diagnosis. However, whereas brain imaging sequences are now fairly standardized, there continues to be debate about the optimal sequences for imaging the spinal cord. The short T1 inversion recovery (STIR) sequence has been shown in the current literature to improve lesion detection with its additive T1/T2 weighting, but current spinal cord imaging protocols from the Consortium on MS Center Consensus Guidelines do not include the STIR sequence. We demonstrate that not only do STIR sequences improve lesion detection when compared directly with conventional T2-weighted sequences, but that they also significantly improve lesion conspicuity, facilitating earlier positive diagnosis and management.