Fine-needle aspiration is now well established in the investigation of retroperitoneal masses. Many of these lesions are first detected in the course of radiological surveys of patients with known or suspected malignancy. It can be difficult to diagnose sarcomas on fine-needle aspiration material as many of these tumour do not show cytological features of malignancy. We describe two cases of metastatic liposarcoma confidently diagnosed on the basis of characteristic cytological features seen in material aspirated from metastatic adrenal tumours. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.