- Autologous blood clot was injected into six dogs to produce a graduated decrease in cardiac output (CO). The effects of an infusion of norepinephrine, titrated to specific end points, were recorded before embolization and at two levels of pulmonary hypertension. Simultaneous measurements of systemic and renal hemodynamics were made. Sequential blood clot injection increased (p less than .01) pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) from 1.3 to 13 to 33 mm Hg.L-1.min and reduced CO 45 percent and 75 percent (p less than .01). Norepinephrine increased both stroke volume and CO (p less than .01) in each condition and did not increase PVR. Since the biventricular filling pressures remained constant or fell slightly with norepinephrine, the increase in CO is best explained by an improvement in pump performance. There was no deterioration in renal blood flow or creatinine clearance with norepinephrine. The data suggested that in this model of right ventricular dysfunction, norepinephrine consistently improved myocardial performance without provoking further vasoconstriction in either the pulmonary or renal circulations.