Reduced septal uptake of thallium-201 during exercise is frequently observed in patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) and normal coronary arteries. This may reflect normal coronary autoregulation in response to lower septal oxygen demand; thus, dipyridamole, which uniformly exploits flow reserve, would be more accurate for diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Sixteen patients with LBBB underwent exercise and dipyridamole thallium-201 single-photon emission computed tomography and coronary angiography within 3 months. Sensitivity for detection of left anterior descending CAD (greater than 50% stenosis) was 0.83 for exercise and 1.00 for dipyridamole. Specificity was 0.30 (visual) or 0.20 (quantitative analysis) for exercise and 0.80 (visual) or 0.90 (quantitative) for dipyridamole (p less than 0.05). Dipyridamole combined with quantitative analysis also improved specificity of CAD detection overall (p less than 0.01). These data demonstrate that pharmacologic vasodilation is more accurate than exercise when diagnosing CAD by myocardial perfusion scintigraphy in patients with LBBB.