AIMS--To correlate the numbers of silver staining nuclear organiser regions (AgNORs) in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma classified by the working formulation with survival, the first complete remission, and the length of remission. METHODS--Sixty one patients were included in the study. Paraffin wax sections were stained using silver solution to visualise nucleolar organiser regions. The AgNORs were counted in 150 nuclei of each specimen. Data were examined using the Kruskal-Wallis test, multivariate discriminant analysis, and Cox's regression test. Curves were calculated by the method of Kaplan and Meier. RESULTS--Most patients who were alive had low grade lymphoma (p < 0.01). The first complete remission was obtained more frequently in the low and intermediate grade groups (p < 0.05). The longest survival was found in the low grade group (p < 0.001). The mean number of AgNORs differed significantly in all three groups (p < 0.001). This was also true for area of nuclei (p < 0.001) and length of remission (p < 0.05). In a multivariate analysis the numbers of AgNORs were highly predictive for survival, remission, and the length of remission. CONCLUSIONS--The numbers of AgNORs correlated with survival, remission, and the length of remission in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.