Echocardiographic automated border detection (ABD) is a new on-line technique that can determine the interface between blood and myocardial tissue and calculate left ventricular (LV) cavity area in real time. The objective of this study was to determine whether ABD measurements of the LV cavity area could be used to estimate LV stroke volume at basal conditions and during large changes in LV stroke volume induced by inferior vena caval occlusions in an open-chest canine model. Seven dogs had LV stroke volume measured by electromagnetic flow from the ascending aorta with epicardial recordings of ABD echocardiographic area at the midventricular short-axis level. Simultaneous beats of stroke volume were recorded along with ABD echo area during baseline apnea and during IVC occlusions. Neither ABD echo stroke area nor stroke volume varied significantly during apnea baseline. Changes in stroke area were closely correlated with changes in stroke volume for 540 matched beats from 24 IVC occlusions: R = 0.93, standard error of the estimate = 5%, y = 0.92x + 0.4 (p < 0.001). Echocardiographic ABD appears to be a promising new on-line method of determining rapid alterations in LV stroke volume; it also has potential applications to multiple investigational and clinical settings.