To investigate if fluid therapy changes the prerequisites for the development of oedema, four i.v. infusions of Ringer's solution 25 ml kg-1 were given over 15 or 30 min in a randomized crossover study to 10 healthy male volunteers, aged 28-40 (mean 31) yr. Blood haemoglobin concentration, measured every 5 min for 90 min, and urinary excretion were used as input data for volume kinetic analysis. The results showed that the elimination rate constant (kr) was higher when another infusion had been given earlier on the same day (208 vs 140 ml min-1; P < 0.002) and the size of V1 was larger during the 15-min infusions (4.7 vs 3.2 litre; P < 0.02). However, the size of V2 and the rate constant for the exchange of fluid between V1 and V2 were similar during all infusions. We conclude that a fluid challenge makes elimination of further infused fluid more effective but does not change compliance with volume expansion in healthy volunteers.