Background: In patients with ischemic heart disease, accurate assessment of the extent of myocardial perfusion deficit may be important in predicting prognosis of clinical cardiac outcomes. The aim of this study was to compare the ability of three dimensional (3D) and of two dimensional (2D) multi-slice myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in determining the size of defects, and to demonstrate the feasibility of 3D MPI in healthy volunteers at 3 Tesla. Methods: A heart phantom was used to compare the accuracy of 3D and 2D multi-slice MPI in estimating the volume fraction of seven rubber insets which simulated transmural myocardial perfusion defects. Three sets of cross-sectional planes were acquired for 2D multi-slice imaging, where each set was shifted along the partition encoding direction by ± 10 mm. 3D first-pass contrast-enhanced (0.1 mmol/kg Gd-DTPA) MPI was performed in three volunteers with sensitivity encoding for six-fold acceleration. The upslope of the myocardial time-intensity-curve and peak SNR/CNR values were calculated. Results: Mean/standard deviation of errors in estimating the volume fraction across the seven defects were -0.44/1.49%, 2.23/2.97%, and 2.59/3.18% in 3D, 2D 4-slice, and 2D 3-slice imaging, respectively. 3D MPI performed in healthy volunteers produced excellent quality images with whole left ventricular (LV) coverage. Peak SNR/CNR was 57.6 ± 22.0/37.5 ± 19.7 over all segments in the first eight slices. Conclusion: 3D performed better than 2D multi-slice MPI in estimating the size of perfusion defects in phantoms. Highly accelerated 3D MPI at 3T was feasible in volunteers, allowing whole LV coverage with excellent image quality and high SNR/CNR.