In this study, we showed, for the first time, the pattern of point mutations at codon 12 of the K-ras, H-ras and N-ras genes, using polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis in 47 malignant cytologic specimens of ovarian adenocarcinoma peritoneal fluids. Forty-seven % of the samples were found to carry a point mutation at codon 12 of K-ras gene. Also, 21 cystadenoma peritoneal fluids were used as control specimens for the detection of ras mutations. Fourteen % of these samples were found to carry a point mutation at codon 12 of the K-ras gene. The prevalence of K-ras gene mutations were statistically correlated with FIGO and surgical stage of the malignant specimens. Our data demonstrates that the K-ras gene mutations are mainly affected (47%) in the malignant cells of the peritoneal washings or ascites of women with ovarian adenocarcinomas and may have value for the early diagnosis and monitoring of these neoplasms.