Papillary lesions have a broad spectrum of appearances on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of papillary lesions can be used to characterize lesion as benign or malignant. This retrospective study included 29 papillary lesions. Diagnostic values of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI), DWI-ADC, and DCE-MRI plus DWI-ADC were separately calculated. The malignant papillary lesions (0.744x10(-3)mm(2)/s) exhibited significantly lower mean ADC values than the benign lesions (1.339x10(-3)mm(2)/s). Addition of DWI to standard DCE-MRI provided 100% sensitivity. We hypothesized that this combination may prevent unnecessary excisional biopsies.