Increased blood volume, atrial size, and plasma concentration of atrial natriuretic factor are described in cirrhosis. Their interrelationships were examined in 17 men with alcoholic liver disease, 7 with and 10 without ascites. Atrial size was determined by two-dimensional echocardiography. Patients with cirrhosis had significantly increased left atrial volume and plasma concentration of atrial natriuretic factor when compared with normal male subjects. Right atrial volume was normal in patients with cirrhosis, as was left ventricular function. Patients with ascites had significantly increased blood volume and plasma atrial natriuretic factor concentration compared with patients without ascites. Left and right atrial volume did not differ between the groups. Blood volume correlated significantly with left atrial volume, which correlated significantly with plasma concentration of atrial natriuretic factor. Cirrhosis is associated with related increases in vascular volume, left atrial size, and plasma atrial natriuretic factor concentration. Increased blood volume probably contributes to the increase in left atrial volume, which is in turn one reason for the elevation of plasma atrial natriuretic factor concentration.