A group of 24 patients with acute viral hepatitis B was assessed for specific antibodies against the ''core'' antigen class IgM (HB/sub c/AB IgM) during 1st-4th week of the illness. These specific antibodies were positive in all patients, the mean titre being 10/sup -5/. The high content of these antibodies persisted for 1-2 months after the onset of the disease. The assessment of specific antibodies against ''core'' antigen class IgM was also made in a group of 39 patients with chronic hepatitis. In these patients positive HB/sub c/Ab IgM with a lower content were found (titre 10/sup -3/) than in the group with acute viral hepatitis B. Based on the results the conclusion is made that specific antibodies HB/sub c/Ab class IgM are, in addition to the estimation of the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus (HB/sub s/Ag), one more indicator of acute viral hepatitis B. The assessment is diagnostically valuable, in particular in acute hepatitis of obscure etiology, in acute jaundice of obscure etiology for the period of low and short-term antigenemia. (author). 6 figs., 1 tab., 14 refs.