Plasma volume (PV) changes to 15 min quiet standing were analysed (Hb/Hct-alterations) in two studies (nine and 11 healthy males). Data confirmed and extended our findings that blood, arterial or venous, sampled on standing fails to reveal the induced overall haemoconcentration (PV loss). First, standing led to markedly incomplete mixing of blood between circulatory compartments. Secondly, with sampling of antecubital venous blood, haemoconcentration was strongly affected by regional plasma loss and, apparently equally important, by regional blood flow. These difficulties were circumvented, however, by the finding that the PV restitution (haemoconcentration) in the recumbent subject after standing fitted invariably a monoexponential function with striking precision. It allowed, by extrapolation, a seemingly superior definition of the PV reduction at the very end of standing as supported by the fact that PV changes from Hb/Hct and from IgM protein concentration changes were similar, refuting that Fcell-changes contributed to the pronounced Hb/Hct changes. The described novel approach revealed a nicely reproducible PV loss of no less than 692 +/- 46 mL (18.1 +/- 0.6%, Study I; 18.4 +/- 0.5%, Study II), or approximately 11% reduction of blood volume, showing that quiet standing leads to a much more rapid and haemodynamically important decrease in PV than reported previously. Yet, PV was virtually restored within 20 min of recumbency after standing, with 50% recovery within 6 min and regain of as much as 70 mL in the very first min. The latter data indicate that the body possesses a surprising capacity for rapid fluid transfer from the extra- to the intravascular space.