Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the 3p region is found in up to 50% of epithelial ovarian neoplasms. The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene at the 3p25 locus is one of the tumor-suppressor genes located at 3p. The role, if any, of the VHL gene locus is not clear in ovarian carcinogenesis. We analyzed primary and metastatic ovarian clear-cell carcinomas (OCCC) for LOH at 3p25 to determine its frequency and its diagnostic utility as an adjunctive tool in the differential diagnosis of metastatic clear-cell carcinomas. Microdissection followed by single-step DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, using two polymorphic markers flanking the VHL gene locus, was done on archival histology and cytology samples from 9 patients with metastatic OCCC. Of the informative cases, 43% of the metastatic and 50% of the primary OCCC showed LOH. LOH at the VHL gene locus is not uncommon in clear-cell ovarian carcinoma. LOH at 3p25 in cytologic specimens may be a valuable adjunct in the diagnosis of OCCC metastasis in cytologically equivocal cases. OCCC should enter the differential in clear-cell carcinomas of unknown primary that show LOH at 3p25. Published 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.