The aim of this study was to determine normative volumetric data and ejection fraction values derived from gated myocardial single-photon emission tomography (SPET) using the commercially available software algorithm QGS (quantitative gated SPET). From a prospective database of 876 consecutive patients who were referred for a 2-day stress-rest technetium-99m tetrofosmin (925 MBq) gated SPET study, 102 patients (43 men, 59 women) with a low (<10%) pre-test likelihood of coronary disease were included (mean age 57.6 years). For stress imaging, a bicycle protocol was used in 79 of the patients and a dipyridamole protocol in 23. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and end-diastolic and -systolic volumes (EDV and ESV) were calculated by QGS. EDV and ESV were corrected for body surface area, indicated by EDVi and ESVi. To allow comparison with previous reports using other imaging modalities, men and women were divided into three age groups (<45 years, > or =45 years but <65 years and > or =65 years). Men showed significantly higher EDVi and ESVi values throughout and lower LVEF values when compared with women in the subgroup > or =65 years (P<0.05, ANOVA). Significant negative and positive correlations were found between age and EDVi and ESVi values for both women and men and between LVEF and age in women (Pearson P< or =0.01). LVEF values at bicycle stress were significantly higher than at rest (P=0.000, paired t test), which was the result of a significant decrease in ESV (P=0.003), a phenomenon which did not occur following dipyridamole stress (P=0.409). The data presented suggest that LVEF and EDVi and ESVi as assessed by QGS are strongly gender-specific. Although the physiological significance of these results is uncertain and needs further study, these findings demonstrate that the evaluation of cardiac function and volumes of patients by means of QGS should consider age- and gender-matched normative values.