Objective: To investigate the value of preoperative diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging for predicting aggressive histological features in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Methods: The mean, minimum apparent diffusion coefficient (ADCmean and ADCmin) and ADC value of the solid component (ADCsolid) were compared among different aggressive histological groups. Analyses of receiver-operating characteristic curve were also performed. Results: The ADC value in the low aggressive PTC were significantly higher than in high aggressive PTC. ADCmin values had the best performance. Conclusion: ADCmin values derived from DWI could be used as quantitative predictors of aggressive histological features in PTC.