The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in diagnosis of pancreas cancer, to compare DWI with a conventional comprehensive MRI (MRI-c) and to analyse apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of lesions. Thirty-six patients with pancreatic lesions (12 malignant and 24 benign) and 39 patients without lesions were included. MRI-c and DWI (free breathing, b values 0 and 500 s/mm(2)) were performed prospectively and consecutively in a 1.5-T system. The analysis was retrospectively performed blinded by two radiologists in consensus. The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and positive and negative predictive values of DWI and MRI-c were 92, 97, 96, 85, 98% and 100, 97, 97, 86, 100%, respectively. Mean ADC values of malignant lesions were significantly lower than those of benign lesions. DWI has a similar accuracy to MRI-c in diagnosis of pancreas cancer.