Abstract One hundred lymph node biopsy specimens were examined on two separate occasions by seven pathologists differing in experience in lymphoreticular pathology. Neither history nor immunohistochemistry was provided and the study, therefore, focused on morphological interpretation alone. The participants evaluated each case using a constructed response form in which the confidence with which they entered each response was also entered. Agreement on various points, between pathologists, between the two rounds, and with the referring centre was assessed. Whilst there was a high level of agreement over a diagnosis of benign vs. malignant and non-Hodgkin lymphoma vs. Hodgkin's disease, there was considerably less agreement over both T vs. B cell phenotype and high vs. low grade. The lack of agreement over grade, an evaluation which is usually made independent of immunohistochemistry, is particularly important, because of the relevance to selection of treatment. Proliferation markers may be more appropriate determinants of treatment choice.