Karyotypic abnormalities were studied in multiple myeloma and were correlated with clinical features. Among 115 evaluable patients, 46% had an abnormal karyotype. Trisomy 3, 5, 9, and 15 and monosomy 13 and 16 were the most common clonal abnormalities. Translocations described previously in other B cell malignancies occurred in nine patients, including four with t(8;14)(q24;q32) translocations. The association of all t(8;14) abnormalities with IgA protein type suggested a pathogenetic relationship between a specific karyotypic abnormality and myeloma protein type. Hypodiploidy occurred mainly in patients with only Bence Jones protein, was associated with resistance to therapy, and justified the early consideration of investigational therapies.