The long-term follow-up of 28 patients with congenital primary tubular acidosis is described. Ten patients had affected siblings but no history of similar symptoms in the preceding generation. Deafness was associated in 14 patients and developed before 12 years of age. Deafness was present in all familial cases, and patients without deafness showed no familial incidence, suggesting the existence of two different entities. All patients had growth retardation, which was more severe in the older patients and was always markedly improved by alkaline therapy. Rickets was found in some patients but seemed related to vitamin D deficiency. Catch-up growth was limited to the first 2 years of therapy in patients treated before 2 years of age, but sometimes lasted longer in older patients. Of the 12 patients who reached adulthood, those without rickets achieved a normal height but the others did not. We believe that therapy should be continued throughout life because of the risk of nephrocalcinosis.