BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to analyze the clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) cases occurring in Indian patients and also study the utility of the crush smear preparation in intraoperative diagnosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS The immune status, clinical, radiological details, immunohistochemical profile, histopathological findings and cytological features in smear preparation of 32 cases of PCNSL were analyzed. Patients with systemic NHL and skull-base lymphomas were excluded. RESULTS The mean age of our patients was 52 years with a male: female ratio 1:1. A periventricular location was found in 62.5% of patients. None of our PCNSL cases were associated with AIDS. All cases except one were diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. Intraoperative diagnosis using crush smears allowed correct prediction in 93% of cases. CONCLUSIONS Our study shows that PCNSL is seen predominantly in immunocompetent patients in India .The age of presentation is relatively young as compared to the West. Our study also stresses the utility of crush smear preparation in establishing an intraoperative diagnosis.