A novel extension of active appearance models (AAMs) for automated border detection in echocardiographic image sequences is reported. The active appearance motion model (AAMM) technique allows fully automated robust and time-continuous delineation of left ventricular (LV) endocardial contours over the full heart cycle with good results. Nonlinear intensity normalization was developed and employed to accommodate ultrasound-specific intensity distributions. The method was trained and tested on 16-frame phase-normalized transthoracic four-chamber sequences of 129 unselected infarct patients, split randomly into a training set (n = 65) and a test set (n = 64). Borders were compared to expert drawn endocardial contours. On the test set, fully automated AAMM performed well in 97% of the cases (average distance between manual and automatic landmark points was 3.3 mm, comparable to human interobserver variabilities). The ultrasound-specific intensity normalization proved to be of great value for good results in echocardiograms. The AAMM was significantly more accurate than an equivalent set of two-dimensional AAMs.