Pulmonary and airway mechanics were assessed in seven asthmatic patients in remission, when asthma was induced by exercise and again after spontaneous recovery or bronchodilator treatment. After exercise there was a sustained fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV 1.0) in all patients, varying from 30 to 80 percent of the initial value. Total lung capacity (TLC) increased significantly in four of the seven patients. In one of the four patients the increase in TLC was associated with an increase in static transpulmonary pressure at full inflation but in the remaining three patients it was associated with a parallel shift of the pressure-volume curve of the lung without change in its slope. In all patients residual volume increased, regardless of change in TLC; both pressure-volume and maximum expiratory flow-volume curves suggested that widespread airway closure (or virtual closure) occurred at positive transpulmonary pressures when asthma was induced. Loss of lung recoli pressure sometimes contributed to the reduction in maximum expiratory flow but diffuse airway narrowing was probably the dominant abnormality. When air-flow obstruction became more severe the ratio of expiratory to inspiratory time was increased and although expiratory flow limitation was present excessive expiratory pressures were not generated.