Purpose of review To give an overview regarding the potential usefulness of vessel wall imaging (VWI) in distinguishing various intracranial vascular diseases, their common imaging features, and potential pitfalls. Recent findings VWI provides direct visualization of the vessel wall and allows the discrimination of different diseases such as vasculitis, atherosclerosis, dissection, Moyamoya disease, and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome. Recent studies showed that concentric and eccentric involvement in the vessel wall, as well as the enhancement pattern were found important for the distinguishing these diseases and evaluating their activity. Most of the imaging techniques currently used are based on luminal imaging. However, these imaging methods are not adequate to distinguish different diseases that can demonstrate similar radiological findings. VWI is being increasingly used as a noninvasive imaging method to offset this limitation.