For immunohistochemical investigation and clarification of the relationship between the vascular volume in esophageal carcinoma and the proliferative activity of its tumor cells, we examined surgical specimens of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the esophagus from 15 patients. The vascular volume was evaluated by immunostaining for platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 with monoclonal antibody JC70, and the proliferative activity of the carcinoma cells was evaluated by immunostaining for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) with antibody 19A2. The ratio of the vascular area to the tumor area and the labeling index (LI) for PCNA in the carcinoma cells was then calculated. The antibody JC70 was useful for immunohistochemically detecting blood microvessels in esophageal carcinoma. The vascular volume, expressed as the ratio mentioned above, was higher in well- and moderately differentiated SCCs than in poorly differentiated SCC (P < 0.01), and the PCNA LI did not depend on the degree of differentiation. However, there was a significantly inverse relationship between the ratio of the vascular area to that of carcinoma and the PCNA LI of the carcinoma cells (P < 0.01). These findings show that angiogenesis is greater in esophageal carcinomas with little proliferative activity.