Twelve cases of pure acute monocytic leukemia in adults were studied. They were selected on the basis of the morphology of the blast cells on Romanowsky-stained smears of blood and bone marrow, as well as positivity of the cells for the naphthol ASD acetate esterase reaction specifically inhibited by sodium fluoride. There was no sex predominance. Neoplastic involvement of the skin and/or gingiva was very frequent. The leukemic proliferation in blood and bone marrow consisted of monoblasts, promonocytes and monocytes. The peroxidase reaction was negative or only faintly positive. Serum and urinary lysozyme levels were increased. The blast cells retained their ability to stimulate, in vitro, colony formation by normal bone marrow cells used as targets. All of these characteristics permit specific identification of this type of acute leukemia. The prognosis is grim: only five of 12 patients achieved complete remission, and four of these five had relapses in less than 14 months; the median survival was five months.