The adherence of polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN) to nylon fibre was investigated in patients with Crohn's disease, ulcerative proctocolitis, and anorexia nervosa, and compared with changes of circulating PMNs, C reactive protein concentrations, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, and clinical assessment of disease activity. PMN adherence was in excess of the maximum value detected for healthy subjects in 14 of 25 patients with Crohn's disease and two of 10 with proctocolitis, but it was within the normal range for all eight with anorexia nervosa. High adherence in Crohn's disease, however, was not associated with quantitative or qualitative changes of PMN populations, absolute concentrations of C reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, disease severity, drug regimens, malnutrition, or zinc deficiency. High PMN adherence in Crohn's disease may therefore reflect the activation in vivo of normal PMN by humoral factors.
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