Liver cytosol specific antibody type 1 (anti-LC1) was first described in a proportion of patients with liver/kidney microsomal antibody type 1 (anti-LKM1)-positive autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and is routinely evaluated by immunodiffusion (ID). Using human liver cytosol as the source of antigen, we have used ID, counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE) and immunoblotting (IB), to test sera from 167 patients with documented chronic liver diseases of different etiology. 15 patients had antinuclear antibody (ANA) and/or smooth muscle antibody (SMA)-positive AIH, 13 had anti-LKM1-positive AIH, four had ANA/SMA/anti-LKM1-negative AIH, 76 had anti-LKM1-positive hepatitis C (recently renamed unclassified chronic hepatitis-UCH), 40 had chronic hepatitis C, 15 had chronic hepatitis B, and 4 had chronic hepatitis D. A precipitin line of identity with an anti-LC1 reference serum was detected both by ID and CIE in 16 patients: six with anti-LKM1-positive 'definite' AIH, four with ANA/SMA/anti-LKM1-negative 'definite' AIH, and six with anti-LKM1-positive UCH. By IB, 14 out of the 16 anti-LC1-positive sera (87.5%) reacted with a 58 kDa human liver cytosolic polypeptide, whereas three out of 16 (19%) recognised an additional 60 kDa band. Compared to ID, CIE is more economical in terms of both time and reagents and provides more clear-cut results. The 58 kDa reactivity by IB was detectable in nearly all CIE/ID anti-LC1-positive patients, was not found among CIE/ID anti-LC1-negative patients. In conclusion, CIE is the ideal screening test for the detection of anti-LC1, an autoantibody that can be regarded as an additional serological marker of AIH and is especially useful in ANA/SMA/anti-LKM1 negative cases.