The molecular pathogenesis of various categories of breast cancer (BC) has been well described, but surprisingly few reports have appeared on analysis of somatic mutations in bilateral BC. We have performed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-driven investigation of chromosomal regions showing common loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 23 cases (46 tumors) from patients diagnosed with bilateral BC. LOH was observed in 15/46 (33%) informative tumors for chromosome 1p, 5/32 (16%) for 5q, 12/44 (27%) for 11q, 15/40 (38%) for 13q and 4/24 (17%) for 17p. These values are within the range of interlaboratory variations reported for unilateral BC. There was no strong evidence for concordance of LOH within the same patient for any of the chromosomal loci tested. Atypical for breast carcinomas, 7/46 (15%) tumors accumulated a high frequency (ranging from 11 to 29%) of shortened dinucleotide CA repeats, implying microsatellite instability (MI). Further analysis with the highly informative BAT-26 marker allowed for the classification of two of these tumors as having a replication error positive (RER(+)/MSI-H) phenotype, whereas the remaining five carcinomas harbored so-called borderline MI. Thus an involvement of both RER(+) and borderline MI appears to be a distinct feature of bilateral breast carcinomas compared to unilateral lesions.