The neutrophils and monocytes of two patients with hereditary myeloperoxidase (MPO) deficiency lacked MPO activity as determined by light and electron microscopic cytochemical staining. With a technique employing neutral 3,3'-diaminobenzidine, azurophils of precursor and mature neutrophils were devoid of MPO whereas eosinophil, basophil, and platelet peroxidases exhibited normal activity. After incubation in alkaline DAB medium, which stains catalase, some small granules were strongly reactive in both immature and mature neutrophils and monocytes. These catalase-containing granules were distinct from all other categories of granules. Their number decreased with maturation. In the presence of cyanide or aminotriazole, peroxidatic activity could also be detected in ellipsoid azurophils, although large spherical granules remained unreactive. This peroxidatic activity is apparently not due to MPO inasmuch as it has been demonstrated that this protein is not synthesized in these patients. Thus, the significance of the last finding is unclear but suggests a heterogeneity of azurophil content. In contrast to human MPO-deficient cells, chicken heterophils naturally devoid of peroxidase are unable to produce hydrogen peroxide upon phagocytosis and were also devoid of catalase-containing particles. This observation suggests that catalase is involved in the control of the intracellular level of hydrogen peroxide in human cells.