Mechanisms responsible for renal hemodynamic alterations were studied in jaundiced (by bile-duct ligation) rabbits (BDL) 10 days after ligation of the biliary tract, in comparison with sham-operated rabbits (SO). Arterial hematocrit, plasma volume, blood pressure, abdominal inferior vena cava pressure, and heart rate were not significantly different between the BDL and SO groups. Cardiac output in BDL rabbits decreased to approximately 73% of the value for SO rabbits. Renal blood flow and GFR were reduced to 64 and 61%, respectively. Reductions in blood pressure and renal blood flow, caused by bleeding (8 ml/kg of body wt), were more marked in the BDL group than they were in the SO group. In the BDL group, the recovery of blood pressure following blood infusion was slower and the mortality was higher, There was no significant increase in the renovascular sensitivity to exogenous noradrenaline or angiotensin II in the BDL group. The findings indicate that the early stage of obstructive jaundice in rabbits was characterized by altered renal perfusion partly due to reduced cardiac output and by incrased liability to hemorrhagic hypotension.