Three patients (a 71-year-old man and 2 women, 73 and 50 years, respectively) with recurrent panniculitis associated with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency are presented. Because the concept of chronic and exaggerated inflammatory response in the patients with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is based on the theory of protease-antiprotease imbalance, we suggest that tetracyclines will alleviate this condition. Indeed, tetracyclines were found to inhibit collagenase activity. The total remission of the condition in these 3 patients underlines for the first time the effects of doxycycline on a condition characterized by deficiency of the antiprotease system. A review of the 23 reported cases of panniculitis associated with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is presented in table form.