An unusual case of insulin producing islet cell tumor is reported which recurred after a 16 yr interval. In most instances malignancy of islet cell tumors is impossible to assess morphologically or functionally but depends on the recognition of metastases. Nuclear DNA analysis provides significant prognostic and biological information in a number of solid human tumors. Retrospective computerized nuclear image analysis of the primary tumor in the present case showed an aneuploid DNA profile similar to that seen in the metastasis. It appears that ploidy studies may be useful in predicting malignant potential of islet cell tumors.