AIM To explore the role of IgG4 serology in identifying common orbital lymphoproliferative disorders. METHODS Eighty-one patients with orbital lymphoproliferative diseases were treated in the Department of Ocular Oncology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University between September 2010 and December 2012. Serum IgG4 levels were measured in 46 cases of idiopathic orbital inflammatory pseudotumor (IOIP), 17 benign lymphoepithelial lesion (BLEL), 12 cases of orbital mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), and 6 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBL) using immuno-scatter turbidmetry (ISTM). RESULTS The frequency of elevated IgG4 levels in patients with IOIP, BLEL, MALT, and DLBL was 30.43% (14/46), 76.47% (13/17), 8.33% (1/12), and 0.00 (0/6), respectively. Among the patients with elevated serum IgG4 levels, all IgG-IOIP patients were male, and 92.31% of the IgG4-BLEL patients were female (12/13). The mean serum IgG4 level of IgG4-IOIP patients was lower than that of individuals with IgG4-BLEL, but the variation in serum IgG4 levels was larger in IgG4-IOIP than IgG4-BLEL patients. Only one case of IgG4-MALT with elevated serum IgG4 levels had a medical history >10y, which was significantly longer than the MALT patients with normal serum IgG4 levels. There was no significant elevation of serum IgG4 levels in patients with DLBL. CONCLUSION Detecting serum IgG4 levels plays an important role in the differential diagnosis of orbital lymphoproliferative diseases.