Gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging allows the simultaneous assessment of both perfusion and function by using one single study. The assessment of regional wall motion and thickening pattern with gated SPECT allows viability studies to be performed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is well validated for the assessment of myocardial wall motion and thickening in patients with normal and impaired ventricular function. The aim of the study was to analyse the concordance between wall motion and thickening scores derived by gated SPECT and MRI imaging. Furthermore, the agreement for myocardial wall motion and thickening according to myocardial perfusion was analysed with both techniques. We studied a group of 21 patients, including 13 with a previous myocardial infarction (all more than 4 months before the study), using both gated SPECT 99Tcm-tetrofosmin myocardial perfusion imaging and MRI. A 13-segment model was used for both gated SPECT and MRI and each segment was visually scored using a scale of 1-3 for wall motion and thickening. There was a high agreement between gated SPECT and MRI for both wall motion (229/273, 84%; k = 0.72, P<0.001) and wall thickening (236/273, 86%; k = 0.77, P<0.001). The agreement for wall motion and thickening was 80% (k = 0.66) and 83% (k = 0.70), respectively, for patients with myocardial infarction; and 90% (k = 0.81) and 92% (k = 0.86), respectively (P = NS), for patients without myocardial infarction. Agreement in segmental wall motion and thickening scores between gated SPECT and MRI was 90% (k = 0.80) and 91% (k = 0.84), respectively, for segments with normal or mild to moderate hypoperfusion; and 71% (k = 0.45) and 77% (k = 0.57), respectively, for segments with severe hypoperfusion or no perfusion. Of the 70 (41%) segments that had severely diminished or no perfusion in post-myocardial infarction patients, 22 (31%) showed preserved wall motion and 17 (24%) showed preserved wall thickening both by gated SPECT and MRI, suggesting residual myocardial viability in malperfused segments. Our results suggest that gated SPECT imaging is a reliable tool for the assessment of regional wall motion and thickening in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. In patients with a previous myocardial infarction gated SPECT imaging has the potential to detect preserved wall motion and thickening in regions with fixed perfusion defects indicating the potential presence of residual myocardial viability.