To date, cross-sectional imaging of the duodenum has a number of inadequacies, most likely a reflection of its tortuous and complex anatomical course, resulting in somewhat suboptimal imaging. The purpose of this study was to describe and assess the feasibility of performing a 'tubeless', per-oral, single contrast, hypotonic magnetic resonance (MR) duodenography technique. Secondly, to assess the efficacy of intravenous Buscopan in facilitating duodenal distension at cross-sectional MR imaging. Ten healthy volunteers prospectively underwent MR imaging of the duodenum pre- and post-Buscopan immediately after consuming 1,000 ml of water. Images were qualitatively (using a visual assessment grading scale of 1-3) and quantitatively evaluated with regard to degree of small bowel distension by two observers. The contrast medium was successfully ingested and MR examination was completed in all participants. Quantitatively and qualitatively, the per-oral, hypotonic duodenography technique yielded superior distension scores and was significantly greater in diameter in comparison with the per-oral non-hypotonic duodenography technique (p < 0.003, p < 0.002). Per-oral, single-contrast, hypotonic MR duodenography is a feasible, simple, fast mode of investigation of the duodenum, which does not involve radiation and represents a useful technique in the armamentarium of the radiologist.