Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) showed significantly (P < 0.01) increased numbers of granulocytes in their peripheral blood compared with normal donors and patients with osteoarthritis, and this finding correlated with interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels and active joint score. Then, 17 patients with RA were treated eight times in 4 weeks with a newly developed extracorporeal granulotrap column containing cellulose acetate beads (G-1 column). This column reduced granulocytes in the outflow blood by 50.2% compared with inflow counts. To evaluate the efficacy of G-1 therapy, 17 patients were followed for 12 weeks from the beginning of this therapy. The modified Lansbury index (LI) for monitoring RA activity significantly improved from a pretreatment mean score of 60.8% to a posttreatment score of 51.3%. The lowered scores were maintained up to 12 weeks after the initiation of therapy. Of the four LI items, tender and swollen joint scores showed the most significant improvement, with the tender joint score showing a particularly significant decrease throughout the study period. No serious side-effects were observed. These findings suggested that G-1 therapy was effective for RA.