The noninvasive method of oscillovasometry, devised previously, was applied to the estimation of arterial pressure, effective radius of large arterial vessels, a number of indices showing elastic vessel properties and change in tone of the vessels on the right upper limb just before sublingual administration of nitroglycerin (0.5 mg) to the patients and 4-5 min after it. A group of 96 patients with different levels of arterial pressure were examined. It was found that all the patients showed a pressure decrease and tachycardia, but about a half of them had a passive response in large arterial vessels in the form of a decrease in the vessel volume, while others showed a decrease in arterial vessel tone (vasodilation), i.e. an active vascular response. From the data we drew the conclusion that there are two types of vascular response (active and passive) and they do not depend on the initial level of arterial pressure. Nitroglycerin probably acts more effectively on large arteries with a high initial tone. The possible mechanism of this phenomenon is discussed.