Thirteen patients with acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) and with clonal aberrations involving chromosome 3 were studied. Three patients had monosomy 3, four had trisomy 3, and six had structural aberrations of chromosome 3. In the majority of cases chromosome 3 aberrations were parts of complex karyotypes, but in two patients, the abnormalities appeared as single aberrations, one as an interstitial deletion del(3)(p13p21) and the other as monosomy 3. All breakpoints of chromosome 3 were found in the fragile site regions 3p14.2, 3q21 and 3q26-27. All patients with monosomy 3 or structural aberrations of chromosome 3 and one of the four patients with trisomy 3 had been exposed to mutagens, such as occupational exposures to organic solvents and/or petroleum products or treatments with irradiation or antineoplastic agents. The association among mutagen exposure, structural chromosome 3 aberrations and fragile sites in AML may indicate that targeting of the mutagens to these sites is of importance for the etiology of the disease. Leukemia (2000) 14, 112-118.