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Ringer's solution expands blood volume by between 20% and 25% in awake volunteers, but little is known about its volume effect during general anaesthesia. In 35 men with a mean age of 70 years, the power of various intra-operative factors to change blood volume as estimated by the haemoglobin dilution method were analysed by multiple linear regression every 10 min during transurethral resection of the prostate performed under enflurane anaesthesia. The results show that blood volume increased by 60% of the infused Ringer's solution and by 35% of the irrigating fluid absorbed directly into the blood, while it decreased by slightly more than 100% of the bled volume. There was no correlation between systolic pressure and blood volume changes. This suggests that the volume effect of Ringer's solution in the blood is greater than generally believed during general anaesthesia.