The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) is a key regulator of chromosome segregation and cytokinesis, and consists of Aurora B kinase, INCENP, Survivin and Borealin. Aurora B is a member of a family of serine/threonine protein kinases, and Survivin belongs to the inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP) gene family, and is also a member of the CPC family. Aurora B and Survivin have also been reported to be overexpressed in various human cancers; however, as yet no studies have investigated the co-expression of Survivin and Aurora B in colorectal carcinoma. Therefore, in the present study, the correlation between Aurora B and Survivin expression was investigated using immunohistochemistry and the associated pathological features in colorectal carcinoma were analyzed. Our present findings showed that nuclear Aurora B and cytoplasmic Survivin expression are strongly associated with and involved in lymph node metastasis in colorectal cancer. Therefore, we suggest that nuclear Aurora B and cytoplasmic Survivin are useful diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets in colorectal carcinoma.