The influence of acute moderate haemodilution on the relation between dose and response for rocuronium was evaluated in 60 adult patients, ASA grade I, undergoing elective plastic surgery. The patients were randomly allocated to either the control or the haemodilution group. Following the induction of general anaesthesia, the status of acute moderate haemodilution in the haemodilution group was achieved by draining venous blood, and intravenous infusion of lactated Ringer's solution, 6% dextran or gelofusine, during which the levels of haemoatocrit and haemoglobin dropped from 44% to 27.5% and from 148.3 to 91.3 g L−1, respectively. Neuromuscular function was assessed mechanomyographically with train-of-four stimulation at the wrist every 12 s and the percentage depression of T1 response was used as the study parameter. The relation between dose and response for rocuronium in the two groups was determined by the cumulative dose–response technique. The results showed that the dose–response curve for rocuronium during acute moderate haemodilution was shifted in a parallel fashion to the left and the potency of rocuronium was increased. There were significant differences in ED50, ED90 and ED95 between the two groups. The ED50, ED90 and ED95 of rocuronium in the haemodilution group was decreased by 28.2%, 35.4% and 38.8%, respectively, compared with the control group.