Survivals of two series of CLL patients (99 from a retrospective series and 196 from a prospective series) were studied separately. The three main staging systems (Rai, Binet, Rundles) agreed well, but as far as survival is concerned, too many stages are defined. The authors performed a Cox multivariate analysis of survival in order to isolate important prognostic factors at diagnosis and to use them to build a simple three-stage classification. Thrombopenia and anemia appeared as the most important risk factors. Among the nonanemic and nonthrombopenic patients, the number of involved areas was clearly related to prognosis in the authors' two series. This study allowed the authors to propose a new classification in three prognostic groups. Group C: anemia (Hb less than 10 g) and/or thrombopenia (platelets less than 100,000/mm3); about 15% of the patients; median of 2 years. Group B: no anemia, no thrombopenia, three or more involved areas (counting as one each of the following: axillary, cervical, inguinal, lymph nodes, whether unilateral or bilateral, spleen and liver); about 30% of patients; median of 7 years. Group A: no anemia, no thrombopenia, less than three involved areas; about 55% of patients; the survival of this group does not seem different from that of the French population of the same age and sex distribution. This three-stage classification only requires clinical examination and routine hemogram, has a good prognostic value which was confirmed on the series of Montserrat and Rozman (146 patients), and should therefore be helpful in planning new clinical trials.