[en] High field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been increasingly used to assess experimental spinal cord injury (SCI). In the present investigation, after partial spinal cord injury and excision of the whole spine, pathological changes of the spinal cord were studied in spinal cord-spine blocks, from the acute to the chronic state (24 h to 5 months). Using proton density (PD) weighted imaging parameters at a magnetic field strength of 9.4 tesla (T), acquisition times ranging from <1 to 10 h per specimen were used. High in-plane pixel resolution (68 and 38 microm, respectively) was obtained, as well as high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which is important for optimal contrast settings. The quality of the resulting MR images was demonstrated by comparison with histology. The cord and the lesion were shown in their anatomical surroundings, detecting cord swelling in the acute phase (24 h to 1 week) and cord atrophy at the chronic stage. Haemorrhage was detected as hypo-intense signal. Oedema, necrosis and scarring were hyper-intense but could not be distinguished. Histology confirmed that the anatomical delimitation of the lesion extent by MRI was precise, both with high and moderate resolution. The present investigation thus demonstrates the precision of spinal cord MRI at different survival delays after compressive partial SCI and establishes efficient imaging parameters for postmortem PD MRI.