The aim of the present study was to evaluate possible hemodynamic effects of somatostatin in insulin-dependent diabetic subjects. For this purpose, 7 insulin-requiring juvenile-onset diabetics were submitted to a short-term infusion of cyclic somatostatin (250 micrograms/h, over 2 h) or saline in randomized order. Somatostatin infusion resulted in a progressive and significant decrease in heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac index and velocity circumferential fiber; on the other hand, left ventricular ejection time was augmented by somatostatin. None of these effects was seen in the saline control study. We conclude that somatostatin exerts a negative inotropic effect in insulin-dependent diabetes.