The results of radionuclide scans (liver, bone, and brain scans and whole-body scans using bleomycin tagged with radioactive indium [111In]) performed on 100 melanoma patients during their initial evaluation were reviewed to determine whether or not they effected a change in clinical staging or therapeutic decision. Patients were classified as stage I (primary disease) or stage II (regional disease) on the basis of regional lymph node dissections. Only one patient (stage II) of 73 stage I and II patients had an abnormal finding on the initial radionuclide scan. Fifteen of 26 patients thought to be stage III (disseminated disease) on clinical grounds had abnormal findings on at least one scan. A therapeutic change as a result of scanning occurred in the stage II patient after abnormal bone and whole-body scans. As an initial routine screening test for stage I and II melanoma patients, radionuclide scanning was unproductive and rarely influenced therapeutic decisions.