Group II phospholipase A2 has been proposed to play an important role in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases. This enzyme has also been linked to host defence mechanisms against bacteria. The current study aimed at measuring the mass concentrations of group II phospholipase A2 in serum and colonic mucosa of patients with Crohn's disease of different severity and of appropriate control patients without any inflammatory disease. The activity of the disease was determined by clinical factors (the simple index score) and endoscopic and histological scoring. The mass concentration of group II phospholipase A2 was measured by a time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay. The mass concentrations of group II phospholipase A2 in serum and colonic mucosa were significantly higher both in patients with active and inactive Crohn's disease when compared with controls. There was statistically significant difference in the mass concentration of group II phospholipase A2 in colonic mucosa but not in serum between inactive and active Crohn's disease. The current results indicate that the mass concentration of group II phospholipase A2 is increased in serum and colonic mucosa of patients with Crohn's disease and that the latter is associated with the degree of the inflammatory activity in the intestinal wall. These results support the idea that group II phospholipase A2 is involved in the local and generalised pathological processes of Crohn's disease.