Bisoprolol is a new beta-adrenoceptor antagonist which has shown beta-adrenoceptor selectivity in studies in isolated tissues. Bronchial and cardiac beta-adrenoceptor blockade were assessed in eight normal subjects before and after oral ingestion of placebo, bisoprolol 20 and 40 mg, metoprolol 200 mg and propranolol 80 mg in random order. Bronchial beta-adrenoceptor blockade was assessed as the displacement of the bronchodilator dose-response curve to inhaled isoprenaline after each beta-adrenoceptor blocking drug compared to placebo and expressed as the dose ratio. Bronchodilatation was measured as change in specific airway conductance (sGaw) in the body plethysmograph. Cardiac beta-adrenoceptor blockade was assessed as the percentage reduction in exercise heart rate during the fifth minute of exercise at 70% of the subject's maximum work rate. Bisoprolol 20 and 40 mg caused a 24 and 25% reduction in exercise heart rate respectively, compared to 26% with metoprolol 200 mg and 20% with propranolol 80 mg. The dose ratios for the airway dose-response curves for the four beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs were 1.04 and 3.4 for bisoprolol 20 and 40 mg, 1.4 for metoprolol 200 mg and 30 for propranolol 80 mg. Both doses of bisoprolol produced considerably less bronchial beta-adrenoceptor blockade than propranolol 80 mg despite causing a greater reduction in exercise heart rate. Bisoprolol 20 mg caused a similar amount of bronchial beta-adrenoceptor blockade and a similar reduction in exercise heart rate as metoprolol 200 mg, confirming that it is cardio-selective in man.