Background Mean kurtosis (MK), one of the parameters derived from diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI), has shown increased sensitivity to tissue microstructure damage in several neurological disorders. Methods Thirty-seven patients with relapsing-remitting MS and eleven healthy controls (HC) received brain imaging on a 3T MR scanner, including a fast DKI sequence. MK and mean diffusivity (MD) were measured in the white matter of HC, normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) of MS patients, contrast-enhancing lesions (CE-L), FLAIR lesions (FLAIR-L) and black holes (BH). Results Overall 1529 lesions were analyzed, including 30 CE-L, 832 FLAIR-L and 667 BH. Highest MK values were obtained in the white matter of HC (0.814 ± 0.129), followed by NAWM (0.724 ± 0.137), CE-L (0.619 ± 0.096), FLAIR-L (0.565 ± 0.123) and BH (0.549 ± 0.12). Lowest MD values were obtained in the white matter of HC (0.747 ± 0.068 10.sup.-3 mm.sup.2 /sec), followed by NAWM (0.808 ± 0.163 10.sup.-3 mm.sup.2 /sec), CE-L (0.853 ± 0.211 10.sup.-3 mm.sup.2 /sec), BH (0.957 ± 0.304 10.sup.-3 mm.sup.2 /sec) and FLAIR-L (0.976 ± 0.35 10.sup.-3 mm.sup.2 /sec). While MK differed significantly between CE-L and non-enhancing lesions, MD did not. Conclusion MK adds predictive value to differentiate between MS lesions and might provide further information about diffuse white matter injury and lesion microstructure.