Arthur Guyton's concepts of the determinative role of right heart filling in cardiac output continue to be controversial. This paper reviews his seminal experiments in detail and clarifies the often confusing concepts underpinning his model. One primary criticism of Guyton's model is that the parameters describing venous return had not been measured in a functioning cardiovascular system in humans. Thus, concerns have been expressed in regard to the ability of Guyton's simplistic model, with few parameters, to model the complex human circulation. Further concerns have been raised in regard to the artificial experimental preparations that Guyton used. Recently reported measurements in humans support Guyton's theoretical and animal work.