There are numerous approaches to the diagnosis of aortic aneurysms and aortic dissection. Echocardiography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have enthusiastic proponents promoting each technique, which to some extent obscures the real value of each technique. This review examines the role of these techniques in the diagnosis of aortic disease, with special reference to the most recent published literature and an emphasis on the use of CT and MRI. For most patients with chronic aortic disease, MRI is the most appropriate investigation. In acute situations, CT scanning is usually the most useful technique, with echocardiography added for those with ascending aortic disease or cardiac complications.