Fibronectin/albumin ratios in plasma and in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were evaluated in patients (1-6 years of age) with recurrent obstructive bronchitis and different interstitial lung diseases. These inflammatory reactions were characterized by increased influx of macrophages on the bronchoalveolar surface, but an increase in the proportion of lymphocytes or neutrophils was also detected in the group of patients with lymphocyte-macrophage or neutrophil-macrophage alveolitis. There was no considerable difference in plasma fibronectin concentrations obtained from healthy children and patients with moderate obstructive bronchitis and slight inflammation of the bronchial mucosa observed bronchoscopically. Levels of plasma fibronectin were elevated in patients with serious bronchial inflammation and different alveolitis, but they were within the normal range. A comparison of lavage fibronectin/albumin ratios with plasma fibronectin/albumin ratios with plasma fibronectin/albumin ratios indicated significant local production of fibronectin in subjects with serious bronchial inflammation and interstitial lung disorders. Fibronectin detected on the bronchoalveolar surface seems to be an important factor in mediating cell-to-cell interactions in the repair of the bronchoalveolar structures, and in tracing the activity of the inflammatory reactions not only in patients with interstitial lung diseases, but also in patients with serious chronic bronchial inflammation.