Fifty asymptomatic patients with duodenal ulcer disease, aged 31-82 years, who had received ranitidine maintenance therapy continuously for five or more years without a symptomatic recurrence, were studied. Fasting plasma gastrin concentrations were normal (mean 24 pmol/L, S.D. +/- 22) while the post-prandial gastrin response was variable with maximum plasma concentrations ranging from 16 to 309 pmol/L. Endoscopy revealed six asymptomatic peptic ulcers. Histological examination of gastric biopsies showed mild, superficial inflammatory cell infiltration of the fundic mucosa, but more extensive inflammatory cell infiltration with some atrophy of the mucosal glands in the antral mucosa. Patchy intestinal metaplasia was evident in the antral mucosa of 18 patients. No fundic ECL cell hyperplasia was seen. Helicobacter pylori were detected in the corpus and antrum of most patients. These results suggest that maintenance treatment with ranitidine for 5 years is not associated with either significant hypergastrinaemia or with changes in the fundic mucosa which could be interpreted as pre-malignant.