The karyotypes of 44 specimens from 35 patients with localized (n = 19) or diffuse (n = 16) tenosynovial giant cell tumors were studied. The majority of cases in both categories (11 of 19 localized; 12 of 16 diffuse) displayed clonal chromosomal aberrations, with a complex karyotype in three cases and a simple chromosomal aberration in the others. No difference in the distribution of karyotypic abnormalities was found between the localized and diffuse form except for trisomies (usually of chromosomes 5 and/or 7), which were more frequent in the diffuse type. The short arm of chromosome 1 (1p11-13) was most frequently rearranged, with 7 of 11 localized and 7 of 12 diffuse lesions affected. These findings indicate that the localized and diffuse forms of tenosynovial giant cell tumor might represent two morphologic manifestations of the same entity. The high frequency of clonal chromosomal abnormalities, with a clustering of structural rearrangements to 1p11-13, suggests that this disease is most likely neoplastic in nature and paves the way to search for gene(s) that might be involved in its development.