Plasma zinc, copper, selenium, ferritin and whole blood manganese concentrations were measured in 22 children with kwashiorkor on admission to hospital and on days 5, 10 and 30 of refeeding. Twenty similarly aged, healthy, well nourished children served as controls. The mean (SEM) zinc, copper and selenium concentrations of 7.5 (0.93), 10.8 (0.64) and 0.29 (0.02) mumol/l, respectively, in the children with kwashiorkor on admission were all significantly lower than the values of 13.7 (0.66), 25.6 (1.72) and 0.72 (0.04) mumol/l in the controls. In contrast, the erythrocyte manganese level of 1.67 (0.09) micrograms/gHb and the median ferritin concentration of 293 micrograms/dl were significantly higher than in the controls. After 30 days there was full clinical recovery with significant weight gain and a return of the plasma albumin, caeruloplasmin, copper and ferritin to normal. However, manganese remained elevated and zinc and selenium concentrations remained significantly low. Our results suggest that nutritional rehabilitation of children with kwashiorkor is incomplete by 30 days and cannot be judged purely by a return of the plasma proteins to normal. Addition of selected trace elements to the diet may hasten full recovery.