Human sporadic colorectal adenomas are characterized by a relatively high occurrence of aneuploidy. Similarly, 1p deletions have been reported to be an early event in colorectal tumorigenesis, while chromosome 7, 17 and 18 gain/losses were also found. The present study investigated 1p deletions, the numerical aberrations of chromosomes 1, 7, 17 and 18, and the nuclear DNA content as obtained by flow cytometry in a series of 34 human sporadic colorectal adenomas. From these adenomas, 51 intra-adenoma regions were microdissected according to 2 degrees of dysplasia and presence of foci of early cancer. Isolated epithelial nuclei were analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization interphase cytogenetics using centromeric probes for chromosomes 7, 17 and 18 and, in a double-target analysis, a centromeric probe for chromosome 1 simultaneously with a telomeric probe mapping to the 1p36 band. Aneuploidy incidence due to presence of numerical aberrations for at least one among the investigated chromosomes and/or abnormal flow-cytometric DNA content was 35%, while 1p deletion incidence was 38%. The correlation of 1p deletions with aneuploidy was statistically highly significant (p = 0.003), suggesting that loss of genes in this region may be implicated in chromosome instability.