Distinct Th1/Th2 patterns have been observed during the evolution of CD. The aim of this study was to compare neutrophil involvement and IL-8 mRNA and protein expression during early recurrent lesions and chronic phases of CD. Twenty-nine patients with CD having ileocolonic resection with anastomosis were studied. Biopsies were obtained during surgery from the non-inflamed ileal mucosa and from chronic ileal lesions. Endoscopic ileal biopsies were also taken from early recurrent ileal lesions occurring 3 months after surgery. Neutrophil counts were performed and mucosal IL-8 levels were evaluated by competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Early recurrent ileal lesions were characterized by low neutrophil counts and IL-8 production at the mRNA and protein levels compared with the ileal chronic lesions. The main cellular sources of IL-8 in the early recurrent lesions were neutrophils, while in chronic lesions the majority of IL-8-stained cells were CD3+ T cells and macrophages. These results confirmed that the nature of the inflammatory infiltrate and the expression of cytokine profiles may differ between the acute and chronic phases of CD.