A 7.5% sodium chloride/6% Dextran solution (HSD) is effective for restoration of cardiovascular function after hemorrhagic shock. In the present experiments, we tested the usefulness and side effects of a 25% NaCl/24% Dextran solution (SSD), compared to HSD and 0.9% NaCl (NS). After 1 hr of baseline observation, 21 anesthetized pigs were submitted to hemorrhagic shock, maintaining a mean arterial pressure of 45 mmHg for 60 min. Continuous intravenous infusion of one of the solutions was then initiated and the infusion rate adjusted to restore and maintain cardiac output at baseline levels for 2 hr. The NS group required 121 +/- 22 ml/kg to achieve full resuscitation, while the HSD and SSD groups required 6.3 +/- 1.3 and 1.7 +/- 0.2 ml/kg, respectively. We conclude that SSD infusions were exceedingly effective at restoring cardiovascular function in volumes equal to only 10% of bled volume, but were associated with transient hemolysis and peripheral vein inflammation.