The possible contribution of the silver colloid technique for staining nucleolar organizer regions in the distinction between benign and malignant adrenocortical neoplasms was investigated. Nine cases of adenoma, eight cases of carcinoma, nine cases of hyperplasia and four normal adrenal cortex specimens were examined. The mean silver binding nucleolar organizer region (Ag-NOR) value in adenoma was 4.29, and in carcinoma 7.16 (P < 0.001). Adenomas with diameters > 3 cm had significantly higher Ag-NOR counts than smaller adenomas. For normal cortex, the mean Ag-NOR value was 2.05 and in hyperplasia, 3.62. The results indicate that the Ag-NOR technique can help in differential diagnosis between benign and malignant adrenocortical lesions and thus may have a prognostic value.