Chromosomal imbalances were studied by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) on 27 specimens from 24 patients with plasmacytoma. All the specimens exhibited DNA copy number changes (mean, 7.7 aberrations/tumor; range, 2-15). The most recurrent change involved losses at 13q, found in 19 out of 24 patients. Other frequent losses were at 1p (42%), 14q (33%), X (33%), 8p (25%), and 6q (25%). Gains were frequent at 19p (58%), 9q (58%), 1q (58%), 7p (42%), 11q (38%), 15 (33%), 6p (25%), 8q (25%), and 5p (21%). High-level copy number increases were found at 1q, 5, 7, 8q, 9q, 11q, 15, and 19. The findings of highly recurrent chromosomal imbalances in plasmacytomas confirm the analytical power of CGH to detect chromosomal abnormalities in malignancies characterized by low mitotic activity. Our most striking finding, the losses in chromosome 13, provides a basis to investigate the role of the 13q loss in the tumorigenesis and progression of plasmacytoma and to evaluate the prognostic significance of this loss.