Several studies suggest that cytokines and neutrophils play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis (AP).The aim of the study was to assess the systemic release of proinflammatory cytokines and WBC (white blood cells) count with differential in patients with acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AAP) and to characterize the differences between patients with mild and severe forms of the disease.Material and methods. Thirty-five patients with the mild form of acute alcoholic pancreatitis (MAAP) were compared to 11 patients with severe acute alcoholic pancreatitis (SAAP). Serum levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-12p40 and WBC differential count were measured every second day during the first week after admission.Results. During the course of the study, the average level of IL-6 was significantly (p<0.05) higher in patients with SAAP than in patients with the mild form of the disease (MAAP). Serum levels of IL-8 and IL-12p40 on admission were higher in patients with SAAP than in patients with MAAP but the difference was not statistically significant. Of all the types of WBCs, neutrophils were significantly (p<0.05) elevated the entire time in SAAP patients when compared to patients with MAAP on 5th and 7th day from admission to hospital.Conclusions. Patients with SAAP had significantly higher proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 levels and neutrophil counts than patients with MAAP. The results suggest that proliferation and overstimulation of this subset of leukocytes might contribute to the development of the systemic inflammatory response in patients with SAAP.