Screening for mutations by PCR-SSCP in exons 5 to 9 of the p53 gene in 38 bone marrow or peripheral blood specimens of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) showed abnormal shifts in 9 cases. One reflected a mutation in exon 8, whereas in the other cases there were no exonic mutations identified by sequencing. As PCR primers were chosen annealing in the introns flanking the exon region, following sequencing of the encompassing introns identified 5 base substitutions at various sites in intron 7. Two of them have been described previously  and 3 novel polymorphisms could be identified. To determine whether these polymorphisms are linked to the pathogenesis of AML, we screened peripheral blood specimens of 26 healthy controls. We found identical base substitutions in 6 out of 26 controls. Our data suggest that these polymorphisms are not related to the pathogenesis of AML.