Eighteen patients with lymphoid interstitial pneumonia (LIP) were studied. The diagnosis was established by the microscopic finding of interstitial infiltrates of lymphocytes and plasma cells. Forty-seven% of patients also had germinal centres, while 72% showed interstitial giant cells. Cases studied by the immunoperoxidase technique showed the interstitial plasma cells to be polytypic. The median age of patients was 56 years; most had cough, dyspnea, or chest pain. Chest X-rays showed either patchy interstitial infiltrates (usually bilateral) or poorly defined nodules. Ten patients had hypergammaglobulinemia; one had hypogammaglobulinemia. Two patients had Sjögren's syndrome, two had biopsy-proven chronic active hepatitis, and two had a clinical diagnosis of primary biliary cirrhosis. Follow-up examination of 14 patients showed clearing of symptoms, X-ray infiltrates or stable infiltrates in 4 cases each. Five patients died (mean survival, 41 months), one of whom succumbed to disseminated lymphoma and a second to respiratory failure. Our results support the hypothesis that LIP is a non-neoplastic cellular proliferation in which lymphoma may supervene. The high incidence (22%) of chronic liver disease has not previously been noted.