This randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effect of ivabradine, a novel heart rate-lowering agent, on echocardiographic indices of left ventricular (LV) systolic function in patients with regional (coronary artery disease) or global (cardiomyopathy) LV dysfunction. Patients were randomized on an unequal basis to receive ivabradine 0.25 mg/kg (n = 31) or placebo (n = 13) by intravenous infusion. Resting heart rate was reduced by a mean of 17.6 +/- 4.7% with ivabradine and 1.5 +/- 5.8% with placebo. The mean maximum decrease in LV ejection fraction was 0.2% with ivabradine and 1.7% with placebo. Fractional shortening and stroke volume were also fully preserved after ivabradine administration. Thus, a single intravenous dose of ivabradine produced a substantial reduction in resting heart rate without affecting LV function in patients with regional or global LV dysfunction.