An analysis of 32 hospitalized infants and children from whom rhinoviruses were isolated in our diagnostic laboratories in 1982-83 suggests that these agents are associated with lower respiratory tract disease with focal findings in susceptible patients. In 23 cases, an acute lower respiratory disease was the cause for admission, while nine patients were cultured after new respiratory symptoms developed during hospitalization. Presenting signs and symptoms included cough (23), fever (19), rhinorrhea (19), respiratory distress (14), and decreased feeding (15). Seventeen of 25 chest x-rays showed new focal abnormalities. Twenty-five patients had a significant underlying disease including seven with malignancies, six with respiratory tract abnormalities, and four with congenital heart lesions. Six of the remaining seven patients were less than 2 1/2 months of age. In no cases were significant bacterial or fungal pathogens isolated; two did have concomitant viral isolates. Rhinoviruses in the appropriate clinical setting are associated with significant pulmonary disease.