The kinetics of serum ferritin were studied in 42 male patients with alcoholic liver diseases (17 with alcoholic fibrosis, 10 with alcoholic hepatitis and 15 with alcoholic cirrhosis). In addition, the chromatic reaction of biopsied liver tissue to ferritin staining (PAP method) was examined and compared with serum ferritin levels and the iron-staining data. Serum ferritin levels in patients with alcoholic liver diseases, determined immediately after abstinence, were significantly higher than those in normal controls, although no significant difference was noted in serum ferritin among the different disease types. The serum ferritin levels decreased exponentialy after abstinence regardless of the disease type. There were positive correlations between serum ferritin and the intensity of hepatic hemosiderin and between the intensity of hepatic hemosiderin and hepatic ferritin. These correlations indicate that the ferritin level changes according to the amount of hepatic iron stores. These results indicate that hyperferritinemia of patients with alcoholic liver diseases reflects an increase in hepatic iron stores and that the escape of hepatic ferritin due to hepatocellular damage and the reduced clearance of serum ferritin are also related to hyperferritinemia.