The translocation (11;14)(q13;q32) and its molecular counterpart the BCL-1 rearrangement are features observed in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and less commonly in other B-cell disorders. This rearrangement leads to cyclin D1 overexpression, which may be the main pathogenic event in these tumours and is therefore recognised as a diagnostic marker. We developed a flow cytometry method to detect cyclin D1 overexpression using the monoclonal antibody (MoAb) 5D4, and characterised its frequency in 93 B-cell malignancies. The competitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for cyclin D1, D2 and D3 was then performed on 40 of these cases to assess the validity of the flow cytometry method. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) to detect t(11;14)(q13;q32) was carried out on 31 cases and results were compared with cyclin D1 expression by flow cytometry. Twenty five cases showed cyclin D1 expression using 5D4, including MCL (12/13, 92%), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) (4/30), B-prolymphocytic leukaemia (B-PLL) (1/4), splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes (SLVL) (4/13), hairy cell leukaemia (HCL) (1/7) and other B-non Hodgkins Lymphoma (B-NHL) (3/15). There was a good correlation between flow cytometry results and RT-PCR in 36/40 cases (90%), and with FISH for t(11;14) in 25/31 cases (80%). We concluded that the detection of cyclin D1 expression by flow cytometry in cell suspensions could be applied routinely to the study of B-lymphoproliferative disorders and may be of value for their diagnosis and management.