By means of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, DNA sequences were amplified that flank the crossover sites of a characteristic chromosomal translocation for follicular lymphomas, t(14;18)(q32;q21). This technique permitted the detection of cells carrying the t(14;18) hybrid DNA sequences at a dilution of 1:100,000. The remission marrow and blood samples of a patient with follicular lymphoma and the t(14;18) failed to show any abnormality by morphological examination and conventional Southern blot analysis. However, the t(14;18) hybrid DNA sequences were detected by the PCR technique. Thus, this technique is a highly sensitive tool to detect minimal residual cells carrying the t(14;18) and has the potential to identify a subpopulation of patients with subclinical disease.