The data from 359 transfusion reactions reported over a 3-year period have been compared with those obtained from 359 matched units given at the same time as the former but not implicated in a reaction. It was found that patients who developed reactions which were not accompanied by a change in body temperature received units with a longer storage time than patients experiencing febrile reactions. In addition it was noted that reactions which included a skin rash also tended to be associated with units stored for longer. In a further prospective assessment plasma histamine levels were measured in a group of 71 patients experiencing 'anaphylactoid', febrile and mixed transfusion reactions as well as in individuals in whom blood transfusions did not cause a reaction. The 'anaphylactoid' reaction group demonstrated a mean plasma histamine level in excess of 1 ng/ml, whereas mean concentrations below 0.50 ng/ml were recorded in the other 3 groups. Our data also suggested that in general, more and 'older' blood was given to the 'anaphylactoid' reactors. The high plasma histamine concentrations could readily contribute to the rash, wheeze and flushing recorded in these individuals. Thus, if a long shelf-life for stored blood is required, strategies which remove histamine from the unit may be worth considering.