Microsatellites are short tandem repeat sequences dispersed throughout the genome. Their instability at multiple genetic loci may result from mismatch repair errors and it occurs in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. This instability is also found in many sporadic cancers. In order to evaluate the importance of this process in myeloid leukemias, we studied five loci in different chromosomes of 43 patients, 22 with chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) in the chronic phase, 7 with CML in blast crisis, and 14 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), by comparing leukemic DNA extracted from bone marrow and constitutional DNA obtained from buccal epithelial cells. Only one of the 43 patients (2.1%), with relapsed AML, showed an alteration in the allele length at a single locus. Cytogenetic analysis was performed in order to improve the characterization of leukemic subtypes and to determine if specific chromosome aberrations were associated with the presence of microsatellite instability. Several chromosome aberrations were observed, most of them detected at diagnosis and during follow-up of the patients, according to current literature. These findings suggest that microsatellite instability is an infrequent genetic event in myeloid leukemias, adding support to the current view that the mechanisms of genomic instability in solid tumors differ from those observed in leukemias, where specific chromosome aberrations seem to play a major role.