We reviewed the MRI features in eight patients with spinal epidural lymphoma (clinically primary in 4 patients); one patient had multiple lesions. The cervical spine was involved in one patient, the thoracolumbar spine in 5 and the sacrum in two. Mean longitudinal extension of the epidural lesion was 2.6 vertebral segments. The tumours were homogeneously isointense with the spinal cord on T1-weighted images and isointense or hyperintense on proton-density and T2-weighted images. The spinal cord was compressed in four patients but showed signal changes in only one. In five patients the lesions communicated through the intervertebral foramina with paravertebral soft tissue masses. In all but one of the patients diffuse signal changes in the vertebral body marrow consistent with osteolytic or osteoblastic changes were identified adjacent to or at distance from the epidural lesion. Vertebral collapse was observed in two patients.