Twenty-nine nongastrectomized and three partially gastrectomized patients with chronic reflux esophagitis resistant to 12 weeks' treatment with histamine H2-receptor antagonists were treated with a daily oral dose of 20-40 mg of omeprazole for 12-30 months. Basal serum gastrin, serum pepsinogen A, and serum pepsinogen C concentrations were monitored at regular intervals. Serum gastrin levels significantly (P less than 0.01) increased threefold to fourfold during the first 1-2 months of the study when all patients ingested 40 mg of omeprazole daily. Dose reduction to 20 mg did not significantly decrease gastrin levels. Serum gastrin levels showed a trend to further increase after the first 3 months of treatment, reaching statistically significant differences for values from the 3-12-month period (P less than 0.05) and from the 3-24-month period (P less than 0.005). Women and patients with high basal serum gastrin levels before omeprazole treatment were more likely to achieve higher serum gastrin levels during omeprazole treatment. Serum pepsinogen A and C levels were significantly (P less than 0.01) increased at all time intervals during long-term treatment with omeprazole. No significant tendency toward higher serum pepsinogen C levels in time was observed. However, serum pepsinogen A levels and the ratio of pepsinogen A to pepsinogen C further increased significantly (P less than or equal to 0.05) during the initial 3-12-month period. However, this trend was not observed anymore afterward. Antrectomized patients did not show increases in serum gastrin and serum pepsinogen A and C levels, suggesting that hypergastrinemia may be involved in the observed hyperpepsinogenemia.