We have investigated cytogenetically a total of 35 solitary lipomas, 10 of which have been reported previously. Of the 25 tumours presented herein for the first time, clonal chromosome aberrations were detected in 17. The remaining eight had normal karyotypes, although two of them had nonclonal aberrations in about one quarter of the cells. Based on the cytogenetic findings in all 35 lipomas, four major subgroups can be distinguished. These are characterized by: (I) hyperdiploid karyotypes including one or more supernumerary ring chromosomes (5 cases); (II) diploid karyotypes with mostly balanced rearrangements involving 12q13-14 (13 cases), including the rearrangement t(3;12) (q27-28;q13-14) in 4 cases; (III) hypodiploid or diploid karyotypes with other aberrations than ring chromosomes or rearrangements of 12q13-14 (8 cases); and (IV) normal karyotypes (9 cases).