The spectrum and frequencies of RB1 structural defects were studied in tumors and peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with various forms of retinoblastoma. Single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and heteroduplex (HA) analyses, along with direct sequencing, revealed 47 mutations, including 24 new ones. Of these, 42.5% were nonsense mutations, 15% were missense mutations, 15% affected splicing sites, and 27.5% were frameshifts resulting from microdeletions or microinsertions. Six polymorphisms were found, including three new ones located in the coding region. Microsatellite analysis with markers Rbint2, Rbint20, D13S262, and D13S284 revealed a loss of heterozygosity for at least one marker in 71% tumors.