Sixteen ear malignant melanomas (MM) were studied for ploidy and cell cycle analysis by flow and image cytometry. The results were compared with clinical (age, sex, stage), histologic (depth of invasion, level, type) and prognostic (recurrence, death) parameters. Single nuclear suspensions were obtained from fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor and adjacent normal tissue processed separately according to Hedley's technique. These, a "spiked" specimen of normal tissue and tumor, and a spleen diploid control were analyzed on a FACScan flow cytometer (Becton Dickinson, Mountain View, California, U.S.A.). Feulgen-stained Cytocentrifuge preparations of nuclear suspensions of normal, MM and diploid spleen were analyzed with the CAS 200 Image Analyzer (Cell Analysis Systems, Inc., Elmhurst, Illinois, U.S.A.) against commercial calibration rat hepatocytes defined as diploid. Six (37.5%) MM were diploid, and 10 (62.5%) were aneuploid; 8 (90%) were hypodiploid, for a high frequency. There were no statistically significant correlations between clinical, pathologic, prognostic or cell cycle analysis parameters and ploidy, although poor prognostic features tended to be in aneuploid lesions.