Purpose To evaluate the imaging characteristics of a cohort of patients with ocular adnexal lymphoproliferative disease (OALD). Methods A noncomparative retrospective review between 1992 and 1995 and prospective study from 1995 to 2005 of the clinical, imaging and treatment of 105 patients presenting to tertiary orbital referral centre presenting with OALD. Results One hundred and five patients (mean age 61 years, range 11-90 years) with equal gender distribution were included. Fifty-three were primary and 52 were secondary. Computed tomography (CT) usually showed a well-circumscribed lesion of greater than brain density, moulding to adjacent tissues with moderate enhancement. Aggressive histology was associated with bone destruction, while moulding was associated with indolent histology (P < 0.005). MRI in OALD showed intermediate signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images and moderate enhancement with gadolinium. Gallium scanning sensitivity to detect ocular adnexal disease was 25 and 57% for systemic involvement. Positron emission tomography (PET) upstaged (71%) of patients with systemic lymphoproliferative involvement, having a higher sensitivity than CT in detecting distant disease (86 vs 72%). Conclusions CT and/ or MRI are essential in the evaluation of OALD and can be used to establish that an orbital lesion may be lymphoprolifetaive in nature. Further, these imaging modalities may predict the behaviour of the lymphoma in certain cases. Gallium scanning provides no additional information to CT and does not influence patient treatment. PET represents an important addition to the assessment of OALD with real impact on patient management.