This article reviews the current state of magnetic resonance imaging techniques as applied to bipolar disorder. Addressed are conventional methods of structural neuroimaging and recently developed techniques. This latter group comprises volumetric analysis, voxel-based morphometry, the assessment of T2 white matter hyperintensities, shape analysis, cortical surface-based analysis, and diffusion tensor imaging. Structural analysis methods used in magnetic resonance imaging develop exponentially, and now present opportunities to identify disease-specific neuroanatomic alterations. Greater acuity and complementarity in measuring these alterations has led to the generation of further hypotheses regarding the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Included in the summary of findings is consideration of a resulting neuroanatomic model. Integrative issues and future directions in this relatively young field, including multi-modal approaches enabling us to produce more comprehensive results, are discussed.