Multicolour fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) analysis of interphase nuclei in cleavage stage human embryos has highlighted a high incidence of postzygotic chromosomal mosaicism, including both aneuploid and ploidy mosaicism. Indeed, some embryos appear to have a chaotic chromosomal complement in a majority of nuclei, suggesting that cell cycle checkpoints may not operate in early cleavage. Most of these studies, however, have only analysed a limited number of chromosomes (3–5), making it difficult to distinguish FISH artefacts from true aneuploidy. We now report analysis of 11 chromosomes in five sequential hybridisations with standard combinations of two or three probes and minimal loss of hybridisation efficiency. Analysis of a series of arrested human embryos revealed a generally consistent pattern of hybridisation on which was superimposed frequent deletion of one or both chromosomes of a specific pair in two or more nuclei indicating a clonal origin and continued cleavage following chromosome loss. With a binucleate cell in a predominantly triploid XXX embryo, the two nuclei remained attached during preparation and the chaotic diploid/triphoid status of every chromosome analysed was the same for each nucleus. Furthermore, in each hybridisation the signals were distributed as a mirror-image about the plane of attachment, indicating premature decondensation during anaphase consistent with a lack of checkpoint control.