Leukocyte endothelial interactions are essential for a normal immune response. It is known that this response is influenced by stress and that the latter induces demargination. We examined the question of whether stress demargination results from a decreased state of leukocyte adhesiveness. Included were various volunteers and patients under different degrees of stress. 66 young athletes before beginning their daily exercises, 67 middle-aged healthy volunteers, 25 patients before ergometry for evaluation of chest pain, 75 patients who were referred to the emergency room with chest pain without ischemia/infarction, 78 patients with ischemia/infarction, 65 patients with minor trauma, 25 with a fracture and 12 with polytrauma. The leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation (LAA) values were measured with a direct slide test. The respective LAA values were +/- , +/- , +/- , +/- , +/- , +/- , +/- and 19 +/- % of aggregated leukocytes. We conclude that an increase in aggregated white blood cells can be detected in the circulating pool during major stress. It is therefore suggested that stress demargination is not necessarily a result of diminished leukocyte adhesiveness.