Osteosarcomas (OS) are aggressive tumors of the bone and often have a poor prognosis. Conventional cytogenetic analyses of OS have revealed highly complex karyotypes, with numerous abnormalities. In this study, we analyzed 18 untreated OS tumors from 17 patients of the younger incidence age group by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), 4 tumors by spectral karyotyping (SKY) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Comparative genomic hybridization identified frequent copy number changes of the chromosomal region 1p (10/17) and gain of part or all of chromosome 19(8/17). In addition gains were observed at 5p(3/17), 8q(3/17), 16p(3/17), and 17p(5/17); and losses at chromosomes 2q(3/17), 10(4/17) and 13(3/17). High level gains were detected in the 8q23 approximately q24 region in two tumors as well as at 17p in one primary and a metastatic tumor. Minimal regions of gain were present at 1p35 approximately p36.3 (8/17); 5p14 approximately p15.2 (3/17), and 8q22 approximately q24.3 (3/17). SKY analysis demonstrated that OS has a complex pattern of clonal and non-clonal rearrangements and helped confirm the structural basis for the imbalances detected by CGH. Spectral karyotyping confirmed an overall pattern of chromosomal gain affecting 1p in all four tumors. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis from these tumors confirmed the gain of the 1p36 region in 2 tumors as determined by CGH analysis as well as the amplification of 8q.