To evaluate the value of spleen and liver apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) in chronic liver disease patients, with and without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and to investigate the use of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the diagnosis and follow-up of hepatic fibrosis. This study population comprised 68 chronic liver disease patients (Group 1) and 70 healthy volunteers as controls (Group 2). In Group 1, 40 patients had chronic hepatitis-B, 20 had chronic hepatitis-C, 5 had non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and 3 had alcoholic steatohepatitis. Diagnosis of chronic liver disease was made by percutaneous liver biopsy and the degree of fibrosis (stage) was determined using the METAVIR scoring system. HCC diagnosis was made with a lesion biopsy. The patient group was subdivided based on the degree of fibrosis (F1, F2, F3 and F4) and presence of HCC. After patient and control groups underwent b-value 600 s/mm(2) DWI examination, liver and spleen ADC values were mapped and measured. The ADC values of the patient groups (F1, F2, F3, F4; with HCC, without HCC) were compared with each other and with the control group. Liver ADC values were lower in Group 1 compared to Group 2 (P<0·001). There was a statistically significant difference between the patient and control groups liver right lobe, left lobe and caudate lobe ADC values (P<0·001). Comparing the F1, F2, F3 and F4 groups, there was no statistically significant difference found in terms of ADC values (P>0·05). However, as degree of fibrosis increased there was a reduction in ADC values, though not statistically significant. Comparing the groups with HCC and without HCC, there was no statistically significant difference in ADC values (P>0·05). There was no statistical difference in average spleen ADC values between patient and control groups (P>0·05). In chronic liver disease, ADC values were lower. As the degree of liver fibrosis increased, ADC levels decreased, though the relationship between ADC values and fibrosis degree was not statistically significant. Quantitative DWI may help in the diagnosis of fibrosis in chronic liver disease patients, however as it does not show the degree of fibrosis, its use in treatment planning and follow-up is controversial. Spleen DWI measurement is not a sufficient method to diagnose and determine the degree of fibrosis in chronic liver disease patients.