The treatment of Hürthle-cell tumors of the thyroid is controversial because of their rarity and the inconsistent histopathologic criteria for their diagnosis. In order to obtain more objective criteria for the management of Hürthle-cell tumors, the nuclear DNA content of cells from 20 cases was measured with the MicroTICAS system and the correlation between the DNA distribution patterns and the clinical and histopathologic findings was evaluated. Three main DNA patterns were found: euploid, polyploid and aneuploid. The euploid or polyploid Hürthle-cell tumors came from patients who did not develop distant metastases or recurrence whereas the aneuploid variants came from patients who died of their disease and/or developed distant metastases and recurrence. Various correlation analyses were performed between DNA ploidy and age, sex, size of tumor, growth pattern, pleomorphism, invasion and metastases. Our data suggests that an aneuploid DNA pattern or one with a large percentage of aneuploid nuclei with DNA content exceeding 5N may predict eventual metastases or recurrence from Hürthle-cell tumor.