Diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease and it has been suggested that alterations in myocardial function may contribute to the development of diabetic cardiovascular complications. The objective of the present study is to examine the left ventricular (LV) function in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats in a definite course of time by non-invasive methods, i.e. M-mode and Doppler echocardiography. From the results, it was found that treatment of animals with STZ resulted in increase in blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, low density lipoproteins (LDL) and decrease in serum total protein levels. Echocardiographic studies revealed that LV internal dimension (mm) during systole was significantly increased after 12 weeks of diabetes when compared to base line data of the same animals and with control animals 6.50+/-0.13 versus 4.25+/-0.17, versus 4.34+/-0.25 (P<0.05), however there was no significant change after 4-8 weeks of diabetes. Also LV internal dimension (mm) during end diastole increased significantly only after 12 weeks of diabetes than to base line data of the same animals and with control animals 7.71+/-0.34 versus 6.18+/-0.25, versus 6.25+/-0.18 (P<0.05). Fractional shortening (%), 15.69+/-5.1 versus 31.22+/-1.7, versus 30.56+/-2.1 (P<0.05), and ejection fraction (%) 37+/-2.31 versus 68.18+/-2.8, versus 60.32+/-3.5 (P<0.05), differ significantly after 12 weeks of diabetes when compared to base line data of the same animals and with control animals. E-wave (cm/s) was significantly decreased after 12 weeks of diabetes 21.11+/-1.5 versus 35.19+/-4.5, versus 32.75+/-3.0 (P<0.05), and A-wave (cm/s) was significantly increased after 12 weeks of diabetes 34.88+/-4.2 versus 19.21+/-2.8, versus 20.59+/-2.1 (P<0.05); thus, diabetic animals after 12 weeks had an inversed E/A ratio. Histological studies revealed that after 8 weeks of diabetes, necrosis was minimal, but after 12 weeks of diabetes extensive focal endomyocardial necrosis was observed. From this study, we conclude that overt LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction was fully visible at 12 weeks of diabetes on echocardiography and this non-invasive technique of echocardiography is useful in diagnosing LV dysfunction in diabetic rats without the need of invasive histopathological procedures.