Impedance cardiography is a relatively inexpensive, noninvasive technique for measuring cardiac output on the basis of resistive changes in the thorax to electrical current flow. In conjunction with blood pressure monitoring and physiologic maneuvers, the technique may be used to monitor thoracic and total body fluid volume and express a variety of contractility indexes as well as relative and absolute measurements of stroke volume. We have tested hemodynamics in our laboratory by using a cost-effective, powerful microcomputer-based portable noninvasive technique, which makes possible the ensemble averaging of impedance cardiographic waveforms. In conjunction with physiologic maneuvers, the technique has been implemented at our institution and has provided helpful information in our experience in evaluating volume overload, hypertension, hypotension, shock, and heart failure. It is hoped that this noninvasive, relatively cost-effective approach will be more widely appreciated in the future, given the economic realities of medicine today.