Chromosome aberrations are detected in only 50% of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), owing usually to the low mitotic rate exhibited by the neoplastic lymphocytes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a simple method for identifying numerical abnormalities of the target chromosome in interphase nuclei. Therefore, we used the FISH procedure with chromosome 12-specific α-satellite probe to evaluate 19 patients with CLL. Trisomy 12 was detected in interphase cells of 12 patients (63%). Cytogenetic analysis, performed in nine patients, yielded trisomy 12 in four (44%). FISH detected three patients with trisomy 12 in whom conventional cytogenetic method yielded a normal karyotype. FISH is a simple, reliable, and sensitive method for detection of trisomy 12 in patients with CLL.