Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) accounts for a small but significant proportion of all ovarian cancers and is a distinct clinical and pathological entity. It tends to be associated with poorer response rates to chemotherapy and with a worse prognosis. Little is known about possible underlying genetic changes. DNA extracted from paraffin-embedded samples of 18 pure OCCC cases was analysed for genetic imbalances using comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH). All of the 18 cases showed genomic alterations. The mean number of alterations detected by CGH was 6 (range 1-15) indicating a moderate level of genetic instability. Chromosome deletions were more common than amplifications. The most prominent change involved chromosome 9 deletions in 10 cases (55%). This correlates with changes seen in other epithelial ovarian cancers. This deletion was confirmed using microsatellite markers to assess loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at four separate loci on chromosome 9. The most distinct region of loss detected was around the IFNA marker at 9p21 with 41% (11 out of 27 cases) LOH. Other frequent deletions involved 1p (five out of 18; 28%); 11q (four out of 18; 22%) and 16 (five out of 18; 28%). Amplification was most common at chromosome 3 (six out of 18; 33%); 13q (four out of 18; 22%) and 15 (three out of 18; 17%). No high-level amplifications were identified. These features may serve as useful prognostic indicators in the management of OCCC.