Cytogenetic studies on a bladder carcinoma, carried out using short time cultures, showed centromere splitting (CS) mainly affecting chromosomes 22, 13, 14, 21, 15, 20, 12, 7, 17, and 18. Clonal trisomies and monosomies were also detected. Our case is the first description of CS in bladder tumor cells. Our results suggest that CS is an early phenomenon in the karyotypic evolution of this case; it can be considered a primary, yet unspecific, chromosome change related to aneuploidy in bladder cancer. © 1990 Springer-Verlag.