Our recent genome-wide allelotyping analysis of gallbladder carcinoma identified 3p, 8p, 9q and 22q as chromosomal regions with frequent loss of heterozygosity. The present study was undertaken to more precisely identify the presence and location of regions of frequent allele loss involving those chromosomes in gallbladder carcinoma. Microdissected tissue from 24 gallbladder carcinoma were analysed for PCR-based loss of heterozygosity using 81 microsatellite markers spanning chromosome 3p (n=26), 8p (n=14), 9q (n=29) and 22q (n=12) regions. We also studied the role of those allele losses in gallbladder carcinoma pathogenesis by examining 45 microdissected normal and dysplastic gallbladder epithelia accompanying gallbladder carcinoma, using 17 microsatellite markers. Overall frequencies of loss of heterozygosity at 3p (100%), 8p (100%), 9q (88%), and 22q (92%) sites were very high in gallbladder carcinoma, and we identified 13 distinct regions undergoing frequent loss of heterozygosity in tumours. Allele losses were frequently detected in normal and dysplastic gallbladder epithelia. There was a progressive increase of the overall loss of heterozygosity frequency with increasing severity of histopathological changes. Allele losses were not random and followed a sequence. This study refines several distinct chromosome 3p, 8p, 9q and 22q regions undergoing frequent allele loss in gallbladder carcinoma that will aid in the positional identification of tumour suppressor genes involved in gallbladder carcinoma pathogenesis.