In an unselected group of patients with high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (HG-NHL) treated at our institution during a 10-year period (1986-1995), we studied treatment outcome and influence of possible prognostic factors. 187 HG-NHL patients were analysed retrospectively with regard to personal, treatment and disease-specific characteristics. Median age was 65 years and the male:female ratio was 1.2:1. Over a median follow-up of 57 months the overall response rate was 87% (complete response 72%, partial response 15%). The 2- and 5-year cumulative disease-specific survival rates were 64+/-4% (mean +/- SEM) and 48+/-5%, respectively. In a univariate analysis, the following variables were associated with prognosis in terms of survival: Patient age, clinical stage, performance status, bone-marrow infiltration, haemoglobin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and serum albumin. In multivariate analyses, patient age, performance status, LDH, and haemoglobin came out as independent prognostic factors for survival.