The results of an open-label, randomized, Phase III trial of r-methionyl human granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (r-metHuG-CSF) in 41 patients with severe chronic neutropenia (SCN) are reported. Patients with diagnoses of congenital, cyclic, and idiopathic neutropenia, with histories of recurrent infections, were evaluated. The primary objective of the trial was to evaluate the ability of r-metHuG-CSF to increase the ANC to greater than 1500/mm3. A secondary objective was to evaluate variables associated with infection-related morbidity in SCN. r-metHuG-CSF treatment consisted of 1 month of dose titration followed by 4 months of treatment at an optimal dose. Patients were randomized to either immediate treatment with r-metHuG-CSF (Group A) or four months of observation followed by r-metHuG-CSF treatment (Group B). r-metHuG-CSF was administered by daily, subcutaneous injection with initial doses of 3 to 10 micrograms/kg/day. Forty of 41 patients who received r-metHuG-CSF had a complete response (median ANC greater than 1500/mm3 during 4 months of r-metHuG-CSF treatment). All cases of gingivitis and severe mouth ulcers resolved upon treatment with r-metHuG-CSF. Serious infections were also eliminated. Only one patient failed to show clinical improvement in response to r-metHuG-CSF treatment. Adverse reactions during the first 5 months of treatment were mild. Splenomegaly (mild) was noted in some patients. The administration of r-metHuG-CSF in patients with SCN significantly increased the ANC (P less than 0.001) and was accompanied by a marked reduction in infectious complications.