Plasma thromboxane A2, a vasoconstrictor, and plasma prostacyclin (epoprostenol), a vasodilator, were assessed by double-antibody radioimmunological assay of their respective stable circulating metabolites, thromboxane B2 (TxB2) and 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha, in 9 patients with severe diffuse pulmonary fibrosis (DPF), who were known to become hypo-oxaemic during exercise, and in 9 healthy volunteers. In the 7 patients with the most severe DPF, mean arterial PO2 fell from 68 mm Hg at rest to 51 mm Hg at peak aerobic exercise, and mean TxB2 increased to twice the value at rest. The 9 controls remained oxygen saturated throughout exercise; their mean TxB2 did not change during aerobic exercise, but during anaerobic exercise increased to twice the value at rest, and increased further during recovery. There were no significant changes in 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha in either group. The selective release of TxB2 during aerobic exercise in hypo-oxaemic patients suggests that thromboxane mediates hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. Its release in normal man during anaerobic exercise may reflect a more general response to the metabolic changes of tissue hypoxia.