The influence of hypervolemia on hemodynamics and interdialytic blood pressure, as well as in relation to vascular compliance, was investigated in 10 hemodialysis patients who were not receiving vasoactive medication. All subjects were studied during a relative normovolemic interdialytic period (from 1 kg below dry weight postdialytic until dry weight predialytic) and a hypervolemic interdialytic period (from 1 kg above dry weight postdialytic until 3 kg above dry weight predialytic). Interdialytic blood pressure was measured with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. Cardiac output was echographically measured and total peripheral resistance calculated postdialytic, mid-interdialytic, and predialytic. At the same time, a blood sample was drawn for analyzing vasoactive hormones, sodium, and hematocrit. In all patients, ideal dry weight was estimated by echography of the caval vein. Arterial and venous compliance were measured with an ultrasound vessel wall movement detector system and a strain-gauge plethysmograph. After fluid load, an increase in intravascular volume, an increase in caval vein diameter and cardiac output, and a decrease in peripheral resistance was observed. No significant influence of a 3-L fluid load was found on interdialytic blood pressure course (153+/-24 mm Hg/90+/-19 mm Hg in the hypervolemic period and 146+/-27 mm Hg/89+/-22 mm Hg in the normovolemic period). Sodium and osmolality were similar in the hypervolemic and normovolemic interdialytic periods. After fluid load, a decrease in arginine vasopressin and angiotensin II was observed, which probably contributed to the decreased systemic vascular resistance. Catecholamines were not influenced by fluid load, but increased during the interdialytic period, suggesting accumulation after dialysis. Three of the 10 patients had higher systolic but not diastolic blood pressures after fluid load (159+/-13 mm Hg/81+/-22 mm Hg in the hypervolemic period and 135+/-16 mm Hg/81+/-22 mm Hg in the normovolemic period). No correlation could be found between arterial or venous compliance and blood pressure changes. We concluded that a 3-L interdialytic fluid load does not result in higher blood pressure in most hemodialysis patients.