Brain death results in various changes in circulation haemostasis, acid-base balance and glycoregulation. This study was carried out between February 1988 and December 1988 in 91 patients with brain death. Age range was between 6 and 58 years. The cause of brain death was brain trauma (71%) and vascular malformations (26%). In all patients a cardio-vascular collapse occurred at the moment of brain death, requiring an intravascular loading (466.3 +/- 240.3 ml.h-1) with crystalloids and albumin. Dopamine was used in 70% of cases at the dose of 3 micrograms.kg.min-1 to improve kidney and splanchnic perfusion. No alterations of acid-base balance were observed in these patients who admitted for organ donation in a short delay (17.1 +/- 6 h). Haemostasis was modified in all patients but the alterations occurred before the brain death and were related to brain injury. Further investigations are required for a better understanding of glycoregulation changes as they could influence pancreatic transplant survival. Hormonal changes have also to be more extensively studied for possible physiopathologic causes of the variations. A better understanding of these alterations will be of benefit for management of patients in brain death and potential organ donors.