Cytogenetic analysis was performed on short-term cultures of primary tumor samples from seven patients with posterior uveal melanoma. Informative data were obtained from four patients, all of whom had a near-diploid chromosomal number and clonal chromosomal alterations. Analysis of one patient's tumor revealed monosomy 3 as the only cytogenetically distinguishable aberration. Trisomies of chromosome 8 and i(8)(q10) were detected in two other patients in combination with monosomy of chromosome 3. The fourth patient's karyotype displayed two different translocations. One translocation, der(6)t(6;8)(q12;q13.1), resulted in the over-representation of 8q13.1-->qter and a partial monosomy of 6q12-->qter; the other translocation, der(9)t(6;9)(p12;p23), produced a partial trisomy of 6p12-->pter and a partial monosomy of 9p23-->pter. These results support the view that the recurring pattern of chromosomal rearrangements in ocular melanoma is unique from that associated with cutaneous malignant melanoma. Furthermore, these results help confirm that chromosomes 3, 6, and 8 are nonrandomly altered in ocular melanoma.