The Pallister-Killian syndrome is a rare disorder, which is clinically diagnosed and usually confirmed by the detection of mosaicism for an isochromosome 12p in fibroblast cultures. To date FISH on buccal mucosa has been used in only three cases and this detected high levels of mosaicism for the isochromosome. We review one previously reported case [Woodman et al. (1995) Genet Couns 6:33-36] and report a further seven clinically suspected cases in which the diagnoses were confirmed by FISH on buccal mucosa, and recommend that this tissue be used routinely for laboratory confirmation. The presence of the isochromosome 12p at levels as low as 1% is acceptable.