The use of PET in patients with marginal zone B cell lymphoma (MZL) is controversial because of variability of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) avidity. We analyzed 40 PET/CT in 25 consecutive patients to compare its performance with CT at staging and as a first-line response assessment. Sensitivity of PET/CT and CT was 96 and 76%. Mean standard uptake value was 6.1, 6.9 and 3.4 (p= 0.3) in nodal, extranodal and splenic subtypes, respectively. Of 17 patients (extranodal:n= 9; nodal:n= 6; splenic subtype:n= 2) with both imaging tests available at diagnosis, 8 (47%) had more involved areas with PET/CT than with CT, 75% of which were extranodal lesions. PET/CT resulted in upstaging of five patients although treatment of only two of them was changed. Responses of 15 patients with post-treatment PET/CT were the following: 9 negative and 6 positive of which 3 were isolated residual lesions. Progression was documented in two of these three patients. Response was also assessed by CT in 11 patients. Discrepancies were found in three: Two were in complete remission by CT while PET/CT detected localized residual disease; another patient was in partial remission by CT, whereas PET/CT showed only one positive lesion. Two of these three patients relapsed. Patients with negative post-treatment PET/CT did not relapse. With a median follow-up of 50 months (10–152 months), 3-year overall survival was 100 and 80% for patients with negative and positive post-treatment PET/CT (p= 0.2). Three-year disease-free survival was 86%; the negative predictive value (NPV) was 100%, and the positive predictive value (PPV) was 83.3%. Although a larger number of patients will be required to further confirm these data, we can conclude that PET/CT is a useful imaging tool for both staging and response assessment in patients with nodal and extranodal MZL as a result of its high sensitivity, NPV and PPV. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.