The central haemodynamic effects of pindolol and xamoterol have been investigated in patients with postural hypotension. Pindolol is a non-selective beta-adrenoceptor partial agonist, whereas xamoterol is beta 1-selective and possesses a higher degree of agonist activity. The study comprised 16 patients with postural hypotension of different aetiologies. Blood pressure, heart rate and stroke volume were measured in the supine and head-up tilted positions. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was measured in the supine position, and vascular resistance, left ventricular volume, and left ventricular contractility were derived. Pindolol and xamoterol were administered intravenously in incremental doses to reach total doses of 0.02 and 0.20 mg.kg-1, respectively. Pindolol showed beta-adrenoceptor antagonistic effects in the supine position through decrements in heart rate from 70 to 66 beats.min-1 and LVEF from 0.57 to 0.52, and reduced mean arterial blood pressure from 103 mm Hg to 93 mm Hg. Xamoterol showed beta-adrenoceptor agonistic effects in the supine position through increments in heart rate from 72 to 90 beats.min-1 and LVEF from 0.58 to 0.66, and raised mean arterial blood pressure from 108 to 123 mm Hg. It is concluded that the degree of agonist activity of a beta-adrenergic agent is of importance if it is given to a patient with postural hypotension.