We conducted a retrospective collaborative study to cytogenetically characterize splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) and ascertain the prognostic value of chromosomal aberrations. Of 330 cases, 72% displayed an aberrant karyotype, 53% were complex, and 29% had a single aberration. The predominant aberrations were gains of 3/3q and 12q, deletions of 7q and 6q and translocations involving 8q/1q/14q. CD5 expression was detected in 39 of 158 cases (25%). The cytogenetic makeup of the CD5(+) group differed significantly from that of the CD5(-) group. Cases with unmutated IGHV were significantly associated with deletions of 7q and TP53. A strong association was noted between usage of the IGVH1-2 and deletion 7q, 14q alterations, and abnormal karyotype. On univariate analysis, patients with more than or equal to 2 aberrations, 14q alterations, and TP53 deletions had the shortest survival; 7q deletion did not affect survival. On multivariate analysis, cytogenetic aberrations did not retain prognostic significance; the parameters negatively affecting survival were hemoglobin and age. In conclusion, the cytogenetic profile of SMZL is distinct from other B-cell lymphomas. Complexity of the karyotype, 14q aberrations, and TP53 deletions are poor prognostic indicators and may be considered together with other clinicobiologic parameters to ascertain the prognosis of SMZL.