Twenty cases of primary lymphoma of the central nervous system associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome were seen over a period of four years and were studied clinically and pathologically. Biopsy established the diagnosis in 11 cases, and autopsy confirmed it in 9. Multicentricity was demonstrated in all cases for which there was adequate autopsy material. Both large-cell immunoblastic and small noncleaved lymphomas were seen, and marker studies in 5 patients established that the lymphomas were of B-cell origin. Neurological symptoms and signs, cerebrospinal fluid characteristics, and radiographic appearance were reviewed. The clinical and radiographic picture is nonspecific and histological confirmation is essential for diagnosis. Although the tumor appears to be radiosensitive, prognosis is extremely poor, with an average survival of less than two months.