Presacral space enlargement may be the first sign of certain diseases. The normal width of the presacral space has not been widely investigated and in all previous studies was calculated from lateral radiographs obtained at barium enema examination. Our study determined the normal width of the presacral space on MRI and investigated a possible difference between men and women. The width of the presacral space was measured retrospectively from sagittal T2-weighted MR images of 193 patients (87 males; 106 females, aged 18-83 years). Presacral space width was measured separately for S1, S2, and S3 vertebral levels from the anterior surface of the vertebral bodies to the closest part of the posterior wall of the rectum. Differences between male and female subjects were analyzed by t-tests. Normal mean widths of the presacral space in men and women were 16.2 mm and 11.9 mm for S1, 14.9 mm and 11.2 mm for S2, and 13.0 mm and 10.6 mm for S3, respectively. Measurements of the presacral space width in men were significantly larger than in women at all three levels (P < 0.001 for S1, P < 0.001 for S2, P = 0.006 for S3). In summary, the presacral space width measured on MRI was found to be significantly larger in the male than in the female population.