Since the introduction of multislice CT scanners, CT angiography (CTA) has become a powerful tool for imaging the vascular system. We compare conventional angiography to CTA in the diagnosis of morphological changes in the abdominal aorta and its branches. A retrospective analysis of 52 patients who underwent both multislice CT angiography (MSCTA) and digital subtraction angiography before surgical treatment is presented. All CT examinations were performed after administration of 100 mL contrast medium with a collimation of 4 x 1 mm and a pitch of 7. A standardized evaluation of the axial, multiplanar and 3D reconstructions was performed by two experienced radiologists. Stenoses were classified as high-grade and low-grade, and aneurysms, occlusions and arteriosclerosis were evaluated. The CTA findings were compared with conventional angiography. All aneurysms, occlusions, stenoses and calcifications were diagnosed correctly by CTA in axial and multiplanar projections (sensitivity 1.0; specificity 1.0). The degree of stenosis was overestimated in three cases when using axial projections. Three-dimensional volume-rendered CTA showed a sensitivity of 0.91 for aneurysms, 0.82 for stenoses, 0.75 for occlusions and 0.77 for calcifications. The specificity was 1.0 in all cases. Multislice CT angiography seems to be similar to conventional digital subtraction angiography for abdominal vessels if multiplanar projections are used.