Although 17β-estradiol (estrogen) and estrogen receptor (ER) agonist administration after trauma-hemorrhage improves cardiac function, it remains unknown what the optimal estrogen or ER agonist dosage is to elicit this beneficial effect. To study this, the dose-dependent effects of estrogen, propylpyrazole triol (ER-α agonist), and diarylpropionitrile (DPN; ER-β agonist) on heart performance (+dP/dt) were determined in sham rats and in experimental animals at the time of maximal bleedout (MBO) or at 2 h after trauma-hemorrhage. The results showed that estrogen and DPN induced dose-dependent increases in the maximal rate of left ventricular pressure increase (+dP/dt) in all groups, whereas propylpyrazole triol was ineffective at all doses. The maximal dose and the 50% effective dose of DPN were approximately 100-fold lower than those of estrogen. The half-life of estrogen in plasma was approximately 25 min in sham and MBO groups. A positive correlation between the estrogen-induced increase in +dP/dt and survival in MBO rats were observed. These results collectively suggest that the salutary effects of estrogen on cardiac performance are dose-dependent and mediated via ER-β. Copyright © 2008 by the Shock Society.