Cytogenetic studies of three rare childhood brain tumors were performed. Two children presented with pure rhabdoid tumors. The third child had a tumor composed of a mixture of rhabdoid elements with neuroepithelial, epithelial, and mesenchymal tissue - an atypical teratoid tumor. All three tumors demonstrated monosomy 22 as the only cytogenetic abnormality. The cytogenetic findings suggest that loss of a gene or genes on chromosome 22 may be involved in the initiation or progression of these malignant tumors. Further studies on additional fresh tumor specimens are warranted; however, it is possible that cytogenetic studies may be used as an additional means of diagnosing rhabdoid or atypical teratoid tumors of the brain.