The pathological features of 155 adult patients with soft-tissue sarcomas were studied retrospectively, in an attempt to set up a grading system for these tumors. As the first step, seven histological criteria (tumor differentiation, cellularity, importance of nuclear atypia, presence of malignant giant cells, mitosis count, pattern of tumor necrosis and presence of vascular emboli) were evaluated in a monofactorial analysis. Five of these (tumor differentiation, cellularity, mitosis count, tumor necrosis, and vascular emboli) were correlated with the advent of metastases and with survival. A multivariate analysis, using a Cox model, selected a minimal set of three factors (tumor differentiation, mitosis count, and tumor necrosis) the combination of which was necessary and sufficient to retain all the prognostic information. A grading system was elaborated, which turned out to be correlated with the advent of metastasis and with patients' survival. A second multivariate analysis introducing clinical prognostic features showed that the histological grade was the most important prognostic factor for soft-tissue sarcomas. Thus, this grading system appears to be highly interesting because of its prognostic value and the facility of its elaboration. However, its reproducibility should be tested.