Abstract The prognostic significance of flow-cytometric DNA analysis was assessed in 375 stages IB and IIA squamous cell carcinoma patients treated with radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy at the Mayo Clinic between 1956 and 1985. Paraffin-embedded samples containing at least 20% tumor were dewaxed, rehydrated, stained with propidium iodide, and analyzed. Among 344 assessable samples, 136 (40%) were diploid and 208 (60%) were nondiploid (26 tetraploid, 158 aneuploid, and 24 polyploid). Diploid cases were further subclassified: 25 high proliferative phase (HPP) (S + G 2M > 20%) and 111 low proliferative phase. No significant correlation was noted between DNA diploid patterns and stage, tumor size, grade, or histotype, but HPP diploid tumors had a significantly higher risk of nodal metastasis. With a mean follow-up period of 150 months, 62 patients died of disease. No significant difference was observed in survival rates (SR) between diploid and nondiploid tumors, but the subset of HPP diploid tumors had a prognosis significantly worse than that of any other group ( P < 0.01). Other significant variables included nodal metastases, parametrial extension, age, and clinical stage. While ploidy patterns did not assign additional risk to node-positive lesions, HPP diploid tumors in node-negative patients were associated with a significantly lower SR. Multivariate analyses in node-negative patients demonstrated that stage, histologic subtype, and HPP diploid patterns retained prognostic independence.