Analysis of chromosomal banding patterns in acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL) reveals that approximately 50% of patients have an abnormal karyotype. Although there is substantial variability, certain nonrandom abnormalities occur, e.g., +8, -7, and the 8;21 translocation (often accompanied by loss of an X or Y chromosome). The 15;17 translocation appears to be highly specific for acute promyelocytic leukemia. These abnormalities usually are not seen in remission, but reappear in relapse, sometimes exhibiting further clonal evolution; a +8 is the most frequently observed evolutionary change. Patients with ANLL following treatment of a malignant lymphoma tend to have hypodiploid modal numbers and frequently show loss of a chromosome No. 5 or No. 7.