A longitudinal follow-up study has been undertaken in 62 patients with clinicopathologically verified chronic hepatitis with non-specific reactive histological changes (NSRH) in comparison with 28 patients with chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH), the clinical features of which are quite similar to NSRH. In contrast to the stationary and non-progressive course of CPH, 45.2% of patients with NSRH, either HBsAg positive or negative, ran a fluctuating course with moderate to marked elevation of SGPT (greater than 200 IU/l) In HBsAg-positive patients, only those positive for HBeAg and a few negative for both HBeAg and anti-HBe had fluctuating courses. In addition, patients with apparent clinical and biochemical changes could show histological features of chronic lobular hepatitis (CLH). A few developed chronic active hepatitis and/or cirrhosis on follow-up biopsy. It is concluded that NSRH is a form of chronic hepatitis different from CPH, but similar to or representing a phase of CLH. It is suggested that NSRH should be categorized as CLH in the classification of chronic hepatitis.