Methods for single- and double-target in situ hybridization (ISH) to, cells isolated from solid transitional cell carcinomas (TCC's) of the urinary bladder are described. Single cell suspensions were prepared from solid tumors of the urinary bladder by mechanical disaggregation and fixed in 70% ethanol. Using two DNA probes specific for the centromeres of chromosomes #1 and #18, ISH procedures were optimized for these samples. Human lymphocytes and cells from the T24 bladder tumor cell line were used as controls. In lymphocyte nuclei and metaphase chromosome spreads, ISH showed two major spots for each of the probes. About 80% of the nuclei from T24 cells showed three spots for both the chromosome #1 and #18 specific probes. When nuclei from TCC's were analyzed, often the number of spots for chromosome #1, and to a lesser extent for chromosome #18, differed from the number expected on basis of flow cytometric ploidy measurements. The double target-ISH method in all cases allowed the correlation of numerical aberrations for chromosomes #1 and #18 in one and the same cell. By such analyses a profound heterogeneity in chromosome number was detected in most tumors. In order to optimize the reproducibility of the method and the interpretation of the ISH-signals, criteria for their analysis have been determined. This procedure can now be applied on a routine basis to solid tumor specimens.