[Purpose] The aim this study was to assess the relation between bone mineral density (BMD) and mean platelet volume (MPV) in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients, and evaluate the diagnostic role of the diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). [Subjects and Methods] Fifty patients diagnosed with AS were divided into two groups on the basis of BMD, a normal group (n=30) and an osteopenic (n=20) group. [Results] Duration of disease in the group with a normal BMD was 10.3 +/- 7.0 years, while it was 16.7 +/- 12.2 years in the osteopenia group. MPV was high in the osteopenia group, while no significant differences were observed between the groups in terms of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and platelet distribution width (PDW). There was a positive correlation between MPV and duration of disease. Correlations between ADC value and the lumbar T score, femoral neck T score, and duration of disease were insignificant. A negative correlation was observed between BMD and disease duration. [Conclusion] Diffusion-weighted imaging provides valuable results in osteoporosis but is not a suitable technique for evaluating BMD in patients with AS because of the local and systemic inflammatory effects in the musculoskeletal system. The common pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis plays an important role in the negative correlation observed between MPV and BMD in patients with AS.