Infiltrating ductal (DC) and lobular carcinoma (LC) of the breast represent the most frequently observed varieties of invasive breast cancer, characterized by differences in their histological and clinical properties. Although comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) of invasive breast carcinomas has revealed a complex and consistent pattern of DNA copy number changes, the data with regard to type specific aberrations are limited. A comprehensive study was therefore performed on 19 LCs and 29 DCs to ascertain type-specific differences of unbalanced DNA copy number changes by CGH. Statistical analysis revealed significantly higher frequencies for underrepresentation of chromosomes 16q (p<0.01), 22 (p<0.05), and 17q (p<0.05), and a lower frequency for overrepresentation of chromosome 8q (p<0.01) in LC. Similar frequencies of non-random chromosomal changes in LC and DC were obtained for gain of 1q (74%/59%) and loss of 19p (53%/52%), parts of 1p (42%/41%) and 11q (21%/24%). Less frequently, gains mainly involving parts of chromosomes 20q, 20p, 3q, and 5p and partial losses of chromosomes 17p and 13 were observed in both groups of tumours. Minimal regions of overlapping amplifications were mapped to 17q23 exclusively in DC (17%) and 11q13-q14 in both DC and LC (21% and 11%, respectively). High occurrences of DNA copy number decreases were detected at the distal part of chromosomes 1p, 19 and 22, but further analysis is required to confirm these imbalances. It is suggested that the observed differences are involved in the development of type-specific properties of DC and LC.