1. The applicability of a continuous infusion of indocyanine green (ICG) to detect changes in apparent hepatic blood flow (HBF) was investigated in six healthy subjects. 2. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to measure ICG concentrations, and the effect of intravenous propranolol (10 mg in 10 min) on HBF was investigated. 3. During 150 min infusions of ICG (1.0 mg min-1) steady-state was reached within about 30 min and thereafter the plasma dye concentration remained essentially constant until the end of infusion. 4. Blood clearance (CLb) of ICG (15.9 +/- 2.2 ml min-1 kg-1; mean +/- s.d.), calculated as infusion rate/blood dye concentration over three time periods (30-50, 80-100 and 130-150 min) during the 150 min infusion, was not different from that obtained with three 1-min infusions (0.5 mg kg-1) administered at corresponding times of the day (CLb = 14.0 +/- 2.2 ml min-1 kg-1, P = 0.06). 5. The pharmacokinetics of ICG were shown to be linear up to plasma concentrations of at least 3 micrograms ml-1 using variable infusion rates (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg min-1). 6. Propranolol had little effect on ICG concentrations during continuous infusion. The AUC of ICG from the start of propranolol infusion up to 125 min thereafter was increased by 12% +/- 17% (P = 0.21) compared with placebo.