Purpose To investigate the role of multi-phase contrast-enhanced MR imaging in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Methods A consecutive series of 62 lesions with PTC were prospective evaluated by MR imaging. Lesions were evaluated for location, size, shape, margin, rim, degree and pattern of enhancement. Results 52 (83.9%) lesions showed moderate enhancement. 45 (72.6%) lesions showed ring-enhancement and 42 (67.7%) showed central washout enhancement during the delayed phase. 36(58.1%) manifested ill-defined margin and irregular rim (49, 79.0%) after administration of the contrast medium. Nine nodules (14.5%) showed extrathyroidal extension. Conclusion PTC commonly manifest moderate enhancement during the initial phase, with ill-defined margin and irregular rim. Central wash out enhancement and ring-enhancement occur during delayed contrast –enhanced phase.