Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder with a complex variety of clinical symptoms. Genetic alteration of the NF1 gene on 17q11.2 is the disease. Neurofibromas of the peripheral nervous system are one main manifestation. A variant of neurofibroma is the plexiform neurofibroma which can be found in about 30% of NF1-patients, often causing severe clinical symptoms. In this study, we examined 14 such tumors from 10 NF1-patients for allele loss of the NF1 gene (LOH: loss of heterozygosity) using four intragenic polymorphic markers. Loss of heterozygosity was found in eight tumors from five patients, and suspected in one additional tumor from another patient. This finding suggests that loss of the second allele, and thus inactivation of both alleles of the NF1 gene, is associated with the development of plexiform neurofibromas. The 14 plexiform neufibromas were also examined for mutation in the TP53 gene by screening exons 5 through 8 using temperature gradient gel electrophoresis. No mutation was found in any of the tumors.