Immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies against extranuclear components of polymorphonuclear granulocytes were detected in 25 of 27 serum samples from patients with active Wegener's granulomatosis and in only 4 of 32 samples from patients without signs of disease activity. In a prospective study of 19 patients these antibodies proved to be better markers of disease activity than several other laboratory measurements used previously. The autoantibodies were disease specific and the titres were related to the results of an in-vitro granulocyte phagocytosis test, in which 7S IgG antibodies were internalised after specific binding to the cell, resulting in gradual formation of ring-like cytoplasmic structures. This autoantibody may have a pathogenetic role in Wegener's granulomatosis. The detection of this antibody is valuable for diagnosis and estimation of disease activity.