The outcomes of 69 patients who received allogeneic bone marrow grafts for autosomal recessive osteopetrosis in the period between 1976 and 1994 were analyzed retrospectively. Four patients received bone marrow transplants (BMT) without prior myeloablative conditioning; transient osteoclast function was demonstrated in one of them. Sixty-five patients received myeloablative pretreatment. Recipients of a genotypically human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical BMT had an actuarial probability for 5-year survival, with osteoclast function, of 79%; recipients of a phenotypically HLA-identical bone marrow graft from a related or unrelated donor, or one HLA-mismatched graft from a related donor, had an actuarial probability for 5-year survival, with osteoclast function, of 38%; patients who received a graft from an HLA-haplotype mismatched related donor had a probability for 5-year survival of only 13%. The main problems in haplotype-nonidentical BMT were graft failure and BMT-related complications such as sepsis, bleeding, and interstitial pneumonia. Osteoclast function developed in all patients with full engraftment. Recovery of osteoclast function was associated with severe hypercalcemia in 24% of the patients with engraftment, especially those older than 2 years of age. At the time of BMT, severe visual impairment was present in 35% of the patients; of the 15 patients who had visual impairment at the time that a successful BMT was performed, two had improvement after BMT (13%). Within the total group, one patient had neurodegeneration. Engraftment of healthy donor cells had no influence on the progression of that abnormality and BMT thus had no beneficial effect on this phenotype of osteopetrosis. In general, however, early BMT remains the only curative treatment for autosomal recessive osteopetrosis.