Seven patients with chronic benign granulocytopenia and nine patients with congenital agranulocytosis, received consecutive seven-day courses of recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor at a starting dose of 50 micrograms/m2/day, subcutaneously. If there was no response the doses were increased to 300 micrograms/m2. All patients with chronic benign granulocytopenia responded rapidly at the minimum dose within 1-3 days after administration. By contrast, only three of the nine patients with congenital agranulocytosis responded within 1-7 days at this dose. Four patients with congenital agranulocytosis showed a response between days 7-19 at a dose of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor 100-200 micrograms/m2 but in the remaining two cases no response was obtained. The administration of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor was shown to be safe and effective also in reducing infectious episodes in these patients. Previously it was reported that granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor 10-30 micrograms/kg/day was effective for patients with congenital agranulocytosis. These results indicate that patients with congenital agranulocytosis may require much higher doses of recombinant human granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor than patients with chronic benign granulocytopenia and that the response to ordinary doses of recombinant human granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor may be useful in differentiating between chronic benign granulocytopenia and congenital agranulocytosis.