The diagnosis of hepatitis A infection is usually based on the presence of hepatitis A specific IgM in a single serum sample. The fortuitous observation in one patient that this reactivity was apparently still present 19 mth after her original illness led to the discovery that the ABBOTT HAVAB-M kit method may produce false positive results. A series of patients who had previously had hepatitis A was retested and false positive results were found in 6% of this group. Control groups consisted of patients with other acute and chronic liver disorders and other acute viral diseases. No reactivity was detected in the control sera. Sucrose gradient fractionation revealed that the factor responsible for the false positive results was associated only with serum fractions containing IgA and IgG and that it could be removed by absorption of sera with staphylococcal protein A but not by absorption with streptococcus AR1 or by 2-mercaptoethanol treatment. It was concluded that following hepatitis A infection some patients produce a rheumatoid factor-like substance (not of IgM class) which is cleared from the serum in 2-3 yr. The presence of this factor may lead to a misdiagnosis in patients presenting with jaundice.