Furosemide delivery rate in the nephron has been reported to be one of the major determinants of diuretic response. In a randomized, crossover double-blind study in eight healthy volunteers, we tested this hypothesis by comparing continuous intravenous infusion of furosemide (infusion rate, 4 mg/hr) during 8 hours after administration of an intravenous loading dose of 8 mg (total dose, 40 mg) with an intravenous bolus injection of 40 mg furosemide. During the study days subjects were rehydrated with isovolumetric amounts of fluid. Mean total urinary volume (Vur), sodium (UNa), potassium, and chloride excretion after 8 and 24 hours were significantly greater after treatment with continuous furosemide infusion when compared with bolus injection, whereas total urinary furosemide excretion showed no differences (Vur bolus versus Vur infusion, 5270 versus 6770 ml/8 hours; UNa bolus versus UNa infusion, 314 versus 430 mmol/8 hours; both p less than 0.001). These findings strongly support the concept of the furosemide delivery rate into the nephron as a determinant of diuretic efficiency.