The hypothesis that hypertonic saline infusion induces a greater natriuresis than infusion of the same amount of sodium as isotonic saline was tested in 8 supine subjects on fixed sodium intake of 150 mmol NaCl day−1. Sodium loads equivalent to the amount of sodium contained in 10% of measured extracellular volume were administered intravenously over 90 min either as isotonic saline or as hypertonic saline (850 mmol L−1). A third series without saline infusion served as time control. Experiments lasted 8 h. Water balance and sodium loads were maintained by replacing the excreted amounts every hour. Plasma sodium concentrations only increased following hypertonic saline infusion (by 2.7 ± 0.3 mmol L−1). Oncotic pressure decreased significantly more with isotonic saline (4.1 ± 0.3 mmHg) than with hypertonic saline (3.2 ± 0.2 mmHg), indicating that isotonic saline induced a stronger volumetric stimulus. Renal sodium excretion increased more than a factor of four with isotonic and hypertonic saline but also increased during time control (factor of three). Cumulated sodium excretions following isotonic (131 ± 13 mmol) and hypertonic saline (123 ± 10 mmol) were statistically identical exceeding that of time control (81 ± 9 mmol). Plasma angiotensin II decreased in all series but plasma ANP concentrations and urinary excretion rates of endothelin-1 remained unchanged. In conclusion, hypertonic saline did not produce excess natriuresis. However, as the two loading procedures induced similar natriureses during different volumetric stimuli, part of the natriuresis elicited by hypertonic saline could be mediated by stimulation of osmoreceptors involved in renal sodium excretion. The supine position does not provide stable time control conditions with regard to renal excretory function.