Smooth muscle antibodies with anti-actin specificity are commonly regarded as markers of autoimmune liver disease. However, there are interpretational problems because different techniques have been used for their identification and therefore the results are difficult to compare. The present paper reports the results of a new method for the identification of anti-actin antibodies (indirect immunofluorescence on cryostat sections of liver from rats chronically injected with phalloidin). The results have been compared with those obtained by four other techniques: demonstration by immunofluorescence of kidney peritubular reactivity (SMAT), of anti-microfilament antibodies (on HEp-2 cells and vinblastine-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells) and counterimmunoelectrophoresis with purified muscle actin as antigen. The new method proved to be the most sensitive and specific. Furthermore, its reproducibility was found to be high, the interpretation easy and the cost low. The clinical significance of anti-actin antibodies in patients with chronic liver disease is also discussed.