The present study compares the relative usefulness of the maximal treadmill exercise electrocardiography test with the high-dose dipyridamole echocardiography test (echocardiographic monitoring during dipyridamole infusion up to 0.84 mg/kg in 10 minutes) in detecting severe restenosis or coronary artery disease progression (greater than 70% stenosis) in asymptomatic patients 12 months after a primary successful coronary angioplasty. Criteria of positivity were: for the exercise electrocardiography test, an ST-segment shift greater than or equal to 0.1 mV from baseline, 0.08 second from the J point; for the dipyridamole echocardiography test, a transient dyssynergy of contraction, absent or of a lesser degree than that in the baseline examination. The exercise electrocardiography and dipyridamole echocardiography tests revealed a similar feasibility (91 vs 87%, difference not significant). Both tests could be performed in 75 patients. For detection of restenosis or disease progression, or both, the exercise electrocardiography test revealed a sensitivity similar to the dipyridamole echocardiography test (71 vs 71%, difference not significant), but a lower specificity (61 vs 90%). It is concluded that the high-dose dipyridamole echocardiography test is equally feasible but more accurate than the exercise electrocardiography test for noninvasive detection of severe asymptomatic restenosis or disease progression at 1 year after successful coronary angioplasty.