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Thirty eight patients with Crohn's disease and 30 patients with ulcerative colitis have been assessed using the technique of faecal excretion of 111Indium granulocytes to quantify precisely acute inflammatory activity. At the time of each faecal granulocyte measurement the serum concentration of the acute phase protein C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were estimated. C-reactive protein concentration was significantly higher in Crohn's disease than ulcerative colitis both overall and particularly in relation to given levels of granulocyte excretion. No such distinction was observed between the erythrocyte sedimentation rates in the two diseases. The present findings show that the acute phase response differs significantly between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Patients with ulcerative colitis may be constitutionally different from those with Crohn's disease and unable to mount a major acute phase response to their own disease.