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Introduction The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) sequence is based on the diffusion properties of water molecules within tissues and correlates with tissue cellularity. ADC may have a role in predicting tumor grade for gliomas, and may in turn assist in identifying tumor biopsy sites. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the competence of preoperative ADC values in predicting tumor grades. Methods This was a retrospective investigation. We calculated the ADC values in the areas of greatest restriction in solid tumor components, and we recorded the pattern of contrast enhancement. Pathology reports masked to the imaging results were reviewed independently. We calculated the differences in the mean values of different tumor grades and high-grade and low-grade gliomas. A receiver operator curve (ROC) analysis assessed the predictive potential of ADC values for low-grade gliomas. Results Forty-eight cases of glioma were included in our study. We noted a statistically significant difference in the lowest mean ADC values for the tumor regions of Grade IV lesions (333.83 ± 295.47) compared with Grade I lesions (653.20 ± 145.07). On ROC analysis, we noted an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.80 for the lowest ADC value in the whole tumor region, which was a predictor of low-grade glioma with 95 % confidence interval (CI) of 0.675-0.926. The sensitivity of the lowest ADC value was 84.5% for high-grade lesions. Conclusion Given our findings that the means of the lowest ADC value are significantly different between low and high-grade gliomas with an AUC of 0.80 for ADC as a predictor of low-grade lesions and a sensitivity of 84.5% for high-grade lesions, ADC values contain some predictive properties of tumor grading. ADC values may be a valuable parameter in the assessment and treatment of tumors.