An 81-year old woman with a history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was admitted with night sweats and abdominal distension. A complete blood count showed hemoglobin 5 g/dL, white blood cell (WBC) count 28.5 109/L and platelets 38.4x10(9)/L. Peripheral blood smear examination showed a large number of smudge cells and lymphocytosis composed of mature-looking lymphocytes with clumped nuclear chromatin. Computed tomography scan demonstrated enlarged cervical, axillary, paraaortic, retroperitoneal and mesenteric lymph nodes with concomitant omental thickening and ascites. Also, the liver and the spleen were enlarged in the presence of multiple ill-defined hypoechoic areas in the latter. Histopathological analysis of the cervical lymph node biopsy was consistent with CLL. Bone marrow examination showed diffuse infiltration of the marrow with small lymphocytes. Analysis of the ascitic fluid revealed an exudate with WBC 1220 cells/mL. Cytocentrifuge preparation of the ascitic fluid showed small mature lymphoid cells containing hyperchromatic nuclei with coarsely granular chromatin. On flow cytometric analysis of the ascitic fluid, expression of CD5, CD19, CD20, CD22, CD23, CD45 and HLA-DR was compatible with a diagnosis of CLL, in accordance with the results of the peripheral blood analysis. The patient was treated with chemotherapy consisting of cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisolone but died within one month after development of non-chylous ascites.