Abstract: HLA class I molecules are frequently lost in a large variety of human carcinomas, possibly because of T-cell immune selection of major histocompatibility complex class I deficient tumor variants. We report that this phenomenon is also a frequent event in bladder carcinomas. Of a total of 72 bladder carcinomas, 72% of the tumors had at least one alteration in HLA class I expression. These altered HLA class I phenotypes were classified as total HLA class I loss (25%; phenotype I); HLA-A or/and HLA-B locus-specific loss (12%; phenotype III); and HLA class I allelic loss (35%; phenotype II or IV). Comparison of histopathological parameters with HLA class I expression showed a statistically significant relationship with the degree of differentiation and tumor recurrence.