Glycolipids were isolated from primary human lung carcinoma tissue of various histologic types: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and undifferentiated small cell carcinoma. Each type of carcinoma had a characteristic glycolipid pattern. The major glycolipids isolated were ceramide monohexosides, ceramide dihexosides, ceramide trihexosides, globoside, and hematoside. Squamous cell carcinoma and undifferentiated small cell carcinoma showed marked increases of ceramide monohexosides and dihexosides. Adenocarcinoma had a much higher level of the sulfatide (ceramide 3-sulfate-galactoside) as compared to squamous cell carcinoma, undifferentiated small cell carcinoma, or normal lung tissue. Embryonic tissue had more significant levels of sulfatide than did the other carcinomas. Adenocarcinoma had significantly lower levels of glycolipids due mainly to a decrease in the amount of ceramide monohexosides and dihexosides and hematoside.