Whole-body metabolic information provided by 18F-FDG PET could help in the evaluation of lymphoma patients at diagnosis and follow-up. We studied 60 patients, 42 at initial presentation and 18 for disease recurrence (23 aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 21 low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and 16 Hodgkin's disease). All patients underwent a clinical examination, computed tomography (CT) and a non-attenuated PET scan within 1 week. The patients received 222-296 MBq (6-8 mCi) 18F-FDG intravenously and emission scans were recorded 45-90 min later. 18F-FDG PET detected more lymph nodes than the clinical examination or CT, but this rarely resulted in upstaging (two patients). The concordance between PET and CT for the evaluation of the spleen, liver and digestive tract was quite good. Discordance was noted in 12 patients for the evaluation of bone marrow infiltration, but confirmation by MRI or focal biopsy was not always obtained. We conclude that non-attenuated 18F-FDG PET is an easy and efficient whole-body method for the evaluation of patients with lymphomas. Compared with conventional techniques, however, it does not appear to offer much improvement for staging but provides a satisfactory base for follow-up.