Objective: To determine the origin of the extra chromosome in trisomy 8 in spontaneous abortions. Methods: We analyzed 4 cases of nonmosaic trisomy 8 in 1st-trimester spontaneous abortions and their parents with DNA polymorphism analysis using microsatellite DNA markers. Results: In 3 cases the extra chromosome was maternal in origin and in 1 case paternal in origin. In 2 of the cases the nondisjunction had occurred in maternal meiosis, while the other 2 cases were consistent with a postzygotic (mitotic) origin of the additional chromosome. Conclusion: Although a small number of cases studied, these results suggest differences from the common autosomal trisomies 21, 18, 16, and 13 where the vast majority of cases are due to errors in maternal meiosis.