The characteristics of 7 newly established ovarian carcinoma cell lines and one granulosa tumor cell line obtained from tumor samples of 7 patients with varying histology of the primary tumor are reported. The cell lines were isolated from 5 serous carcinomas, a mucinous carcinoma, an endometrioid carcinoma and a granulosa cell tumor. All cell lines were passaged at least 25 times and showed stable growth rates. Colony-forming efficiency varied on plastic from 2 to 57% and in agar from 0.01 to 9.30%. The DNA index of the granulosa tumor cell line was diploid, while the ovarian carcinoma cell lines were all aneuploid. In 2 cell lines polyploidisation occurred during culturing. A thorough cytogenetic analysis of 7 cell lines revealed that the granulosa tumor cell line has only minor cytogenetic abnormalities (+5, 22q+). In contrast, the epithelial ovarian-cancer cell lines gave very complex karyotypes with numerous markers and structurally rearranged chromosomes. The chromosomes most often in excess were 15 and 20. Structural rearrangements of chromosomes 1, 3, 7 and 11 were prominent in all ovarian cell lines. In addition, we found changes in chromosomes X, 5, 8 and 13 that have rarely been described before.