A variational formulation for plane elasticity problems is derived based on an isogeometric approach. The isogeometric analysis is an emerging methodology such that the basis functions in analysis domain arc generated directly from NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines) geometry. Thus. the solution space can be represented in terms of the same functions to represent the geometry. The coefficients of basis functions or the control variables play the role of degrees-of-freedom. Furthermore, due to h-. p-, and k-refinement schemes, the high order geometric features can be described exactly and easily without tedious re-meshing process. The isogeometric sensitivity analysis method enables us to analyze arbitrarily shaped structures without re-meshing. Also, it provides a precise construction method of finite element model to exactly represent geometry using B-spline base functions in CAD geometric modeling. To obtain precise shape sensitivity, the normal and curvature of boundary should be taken into account in the shape sensitivity expressions. However, in conventional finite element methods, the normal information is inaccurate and the curvature is generally missing due to the use of linear interpolation functions. A continuum-based adjoint sensitivity analysis method using the isogeometric approach is derived for the plane elasticity problems. The conventional shape optimization using the finite element method has some difficulties in the parameterization of boundary. In isogeometric analysis, however, the geometric properties arc already embedded in the B-spline shape functions and control points. The perturbation of control points in isogeometric analysis automatically results in shape changes. Using the conventional finite clement method, the inter-element continuity of the design space is not guaranteed so that the normal vector and curvature arc not accurate enough. On tile other hand, in isogeometric analysis, these values arc continuous over the whole design space so that accurate shape sensitivity can be obtained. Through numerical examples, the developed isogeometric sensitivity analysis method is verified to show excellent agreement with finite difference sensitivity.