Objectives: To assess the concordance of whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) and an FDG-PET/CT-based reference standard for the initial staging in children with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) Methods: Children with newly diagnosed HL were included in this prospective, multicentre, international study and underwent WB-MRI and FDG-PET/CT at staging. Two radiologists and a nuclear medicine physician independently evaluated all images. Discrepancies between WB-MRI and FDG-PET/CT were assessed by an expert panel. All FDG-PET/CT errors were corrected to derive the FDG-PET/CT-based reference standard. The expert panel corrected all reader errors in the WB-MRI DWI dataset to form the intrinsic MRI data. Inter-observer agreement for WB-MRI DWI was calculated using overall agreement, specific agreements and kappa statistics. Concordance for correct classification of all disease sites and disease stage between WB-MRI (without DWI, with DWI and intrinsic WB-MRI DWI) and the reference standard was calculated as primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included positive predictive value, negative predictive value and kappa statistics. Clustering within patients was accounted for using a mixed-effect logistic regression model with random intercepts and a multilevel kappa analysis. Results: Sixty-eight children were included. Inter-observer agreement between WB-MRI DWI readers was good for disease stage (κ = 0.74). WB-MRI DWI agreed with the FDG-PET/CT-based reference standard for determining disease stage in 96% of the patients versus 88% for WB-MRI without DWI. Agreement between WB-MRI DWI and the reference standard was excellent for both nodal (98%) and extra-nodal (100%) staging. Conclusions: WB-MRI DWI showed excellent agreement with the FDG-PET/CT-based reference standard. The addition of DWI to the WB-MRI protocol improved the staging agreement. Key Points: • This study showed excellent agreement between WB-MRI DWI and an FDG-PET/CT-based reference standard for staging paediatric HL. • Diffusion-weighted imaging is a useful addition to WB-MRI in staging paediatric HL. • Inter-observer agreement for WB-MRI DWI was good for both nodal and extra-nodal staging and determining disease stage.