We determined the sensitivity and specificity of 3 novel antibodies (microphthalmia transcription factor [Mitf], Melan-A, and tyrosinase) as markers for melanoma in cytologic preparations and compared the results with those of commonly used markers (S-100 protein [S-100] and HMB-45). We stained 72 cell blocks from 40 patients with melanoma and 32 with nonmelanocytic malignant neoplasms with antibodies against S-100, HMB-45, Mitf, Melan-A, and tyrosinase. Histologic correlation was available in more than 95% of cases. Nuclear staining for Mitf and cytoplasmic staining for S-100, HMB-45, Melan-A, and tyrosinase in more than 10% of tumor cells was considered positive. All 3 novel markers demonstrated sensitivity superior to S-100 and HMB-45. HMB-45, Melan-A, and Mitf demonstrated specificities of 97%. S-100 protein and tyrosinase were less specific. Sensitivity and specificity for the combination Mitf+/Melan-A+ were 95% and 100%, respectively, whereas they were 80% and 100%, respectively, for S-100+/HMB-45+. Mitf, Melan-A, and tyrosinase are sensitive markers for epithelioid melanoma. Mitf and Melan-A seem more specific than S-100 and tyrosinase. An antibody panel consisting of Mitf and Melan-A is superior to a panel of S-100 and HMB-45 in the diagnosis of melanoma in cytologic specimens.