We have set up a simple PCR-SSO oligotyping procedure that is able to discriminate ten HLA-A2 (2 PCR/11 probes), two HLA-A3 (1 PCR/1 probe), and two HLA-B44 subtypes (1 PCR/2 probes). The frequency of these subtypes has been determined in a large panel of local blood donors and leukemic patients in combination with their unrelated potential donors. A*0201 and A*0301 were the predominant subtypes (> 95%) for A2 and A3, respectively. B*4402 occurred twice as frequently as B*4403. A2 and B44 subtype mismatches were analyzed in a group of 30 patients and their 116 unrelated potential donors who were matched serologically (low-stringency matching: AB without splits, DR1-10). For seven patients (23%) at least one A2- or B44-subtype-mismatched donor was found. For two of these patients (7%), the subtype-mismatched donor would have been considered as compatible on the basis of high stringency matching (AB splits, DRB1 subtypes, DRB3/B5). For one patient of Mediterranean origin, all five donors recruited from a north European registry (matched with high stringency) appeared to be subtype incompatible (A*0201/A*0205). The rather low percentage of A2- and B4-subtype mismatches in DRB1/B3/B5 matched combinations confirms the significance of linkage disequilibria of HLA antigens. Because unrelated donor selection is done through international registries, however, class I subtyping might be necessary when individuals originate from different geographic areas.