According to the REAL/WHO classification, the diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) should be based on clinical, histopathological, immunological and cytogenetic or molecular data. This study is based on 13 cases, which were initially diagnosed as MCL with the use of conventional cytogenetic method and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). MCL is associated with a specific cytogenetic aberration t(11;14)(q13;q32). The chromosomal analyses confirmed the MCL diagnosis in four cases. A neartetraploid cell line and two copies of t(11;14) were observed in three cases. These results correspond with a blastoid variant of MCL, accompanied by aggressive course and poor prognosis. The presence of karyotype with t(11;14) as the sole anomaly predicts an intermediate clinical outcome. Six patients had normal karyotypes, which is characteristic for the typical form of MCL, associated with a better prognosis. In this study we show that detection of chromosomal abnormalities is useful in diagnosis of MCL and has some prognostic significance.