The purpose of the present study was to investigate potential prognostic factors in low-grade oligodendrogliomas (LGOs), particularly 1p19q deletion, due to its proven prognostic significance in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. We carried out a retrospective review of patients with a histological diagnosis of LGO between 1990 and 2000 in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand. All cases underwent central histopathological review and FISH testing for 1p19q status. Univariate analysis of potential prognostic factors including 1p19q status, age, tumour size, tumour crossing midline, tumour enhancement, extent of surgery and seizures at diagnosis was carried out. Thirty-one patients were eligible and FISH testing was successful in 28 specimens (90%). Twenty-three specimens (82%) had 1p19q deletion; four (14%) had no 1p19q deletion; and one (4%) had 1p deletion alone. At a median follow-up of 87 months (0–147 months), median survival had not been reached and no significant difference in overall survival (OS) based on 1p19q status was detected (1p19q deletion OS 56%; 1p19q intact OS 0%; 1p deletion alone 100% (P = 0.38)). None of the other prognostic factors investigated reached statistical significance. We confirmed the high incidence (82%) of combined 1p19q deletion in LGOs and the feasibility of successful FISH testing in paraffin embedded specimens up to 10-years-old. Analysis of potential prognostic factors was limited by the lack of events during the follow-lup period.