Myocardial deformation properties may be characterized by regional strain rates (SRs) calculated from Doppler myocardial velocity data. In 10 control subjects and 12 patients with established transmural infarcts, longitudinal median segmental SR, strain, and myocardial velocity were analyzed and compared with the corresponding wall motion score. All segments in control subjects and normal segments in infarct patients showed no significant difference in either systolic or diastolic SR (systolic: -1.27+/-0.39 s(-1) versus -1.23+/-0.24 s(-1), not significant [NS]; and isovolumic relaxation [IVR]: 1.23+/-0.38 s(-1) versus 1.95+/-0.62 s(-1), NS; respectively) and strain (-0.21+/-0.06 versus -0.19+/-0.06, NS). In infarcted segments, peak systolic SR, systolic strain, and early diastolic SR showed the most pronounced reduction (hypokinetic and akinetic) or even inversion (dyskinetic segments: 0.10+/-0.26 s(-1), 0.00+/-0.03, and -1.78+/-0.67 s(-1), respectively; P<.001). In this study, new myocardial deformation indexes were shown to quantitatively describe the function of normal and chronically infarcted regions.