Summary: Endotoxin causes shock accompanied by compensatory changes such as redistribution of cardiac output and increased oxygen extraction. We studied these effects in anaesthetised dogs (etomidate: 4 mg·kg-1·h-1, n=14) randomly assigned to a control (n=6) and a shock group (endotoxin 1.5 mg·kg-1; n=8). We measured left ventricular pressure, LVEDP and LVdP/dt (Millar microtip), mean systemic, central venous and pulmonary artery pressure (Statham P23Db), cardiac output (thermodilution), organ flow (microspheres, 15 μm, 5 labels), bloodgases (PO2, PCO2), pH and lactate. All measurements were performed before and at 60, 90, 120 and 150 min after endotoxin or saline.Sixty minutes after endotoxin mean systemic pressure, LVdP/dt and cardiac output had decreased (by 60, 50 and 35%), while heart rate had increased (by 30%). Arterial PO2 was lower after endotoxin (-29%), haematocrit and mixed venous PCO2 were higher (+16 and +38%) and arterial pH had decreased from 7.34 to 7.14.After endotoxin perfusion of heart and adrenals did not change but muscle perfusion increased (by 33% at t=90). Endotoxin caused vasoconstriction in spleen and kidneys: the percentage of cardiac output to these organs thus decreased (by 50 and 69%). Sixty minutes after endotoxin we found vasodilatation in the hepatic arterial, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal beds. Later the percentage of cardiac output to these beds decreased. Systemic arterio-venous shunting fell (from 6.5 to 0.7%).Systemic and splanchnic oxygen extraction increased (by 66 and 71% at t=60): oxygen consumption hardly changed; 60 min after endotoxin it tended to decrease. During shock serum lactate rose (by 167% at t=60) before oxygen consumption fell. Myocardial oxygen consumption did not alter during shock but the tension time index decreased.