Mantle cell lymphomas comprise 2 to 8% of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the United States. They occur in older adults with a distinct male predominance, who present with generalized lymphadenopathy, and often have disseminated disease at the time of diagnosis. Pathologically, mantle cell lymphomas are characterized by a proliferation of small lymphocytes, with irregular nuclei, clumped chromatin, and sparse cytoplasm that can grow in nodular or diffuse patterns in lymph nodes, that localize to the splenic white pulp and that produce interstitial, paratrabecular, and intertrabecular lymphoid aggregates in the bone marrow. Phenotypically, mantle cell lymphomas are B cell neoplasms that express pan B cell lineage antigens, CD5 and CD43, and that are negative for CD10 and CD23. On a genetic level, many cases of mantle cell lymphomas have the t(11;14)(q13;q32) that causes overexpression of cyclin-D1, a protein that can be demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in many examples of mantle cell lymphoma and that can be exploited diagnostically to distinguish mantle cell lymphomas from other low-grade B cell lymphoproliferative disorders. The differential diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma includes small B cell lymphoma, lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma, nodal, extranodal, and splenic marginal zone lymphomas, and follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma. In most instances, these disorders can be separated from one another by morphology, distinctive immunophenotypic profiles, and genetic features.