To examine the validity of intrarenal venous pressure (IRVP) as a measure of peritubular capillary pressure when obtained with a method applicable in man, IRVP was measured with a 0.9 mm o.d. catheter introduced retrograde into interlobar veins of anesthetized dogs and was compared with a modified needle pressure (cortical catheter pressure = RCCP) measured simultaneously in the same kidneys. In twelve dogs with a mean experimental kidney control sodium excretion of 91 +/- 15 (SEM) micronmol/min IRVP averaged 16.0 +/- 1.1 mmHg and was significantly lower than the average RCCP of 22.6 +/- 1.1 mmHg (P less than 0.001). These pressures compare well with the reported micropuncture pressures in the peritubular capillaries and proximal tubules, respectively, at comparable levels of sodium excretion. IRVP fell significantly during reduction of renal perfusion pressure within the range of autoregulation of renal blood flow and increased during elevation of renal pelvic pressure (PP). At at PP of 60 mmHg, when urine flow had stopped, the PP-IRVP gradient was 22.7 +/- 3.1 and increased to 36.7 +/- 3.8 (P less than 0.001) at a PP of 80. Acute renal vein constriction always increased IRVP before renal vein pressure reached the preceeding control level of IRVP. Increased urine flow during saline volume expansion and furosemid infusion was associated with increased IRVP. The results when compared with micropuncture data indicate that IRVP is a satisfactory expression of peritubular capillary pressure in the experimental conditions included in the study.