Fourier analysis of gated blood pool studies is performed after filtering the raw data by a spatial median 3 x 3, 9 x 9 or temporo-spatial 9 x 9 x 9 filter. 20 patients and a dynamic cardiac phantom were studied to determine the quantitative effects of these filters and of multiharmonic Fourier filtering (MHFF). The filtered MHFF data, with or without preprocessing, were compared with a 3 D or 2 D filter to the raw data using a chi 2 distribution. The MHFF (two or three harmonics) procedure applied to the raw data of patients without any preprocessing produced the smallest chi 2 value, thus demonstrating the very close relationship between filtered images and raw data. Preprocessing the raw data by the median filter also preserved the signal when two or three harmonics were applied, whereas the 3 D and 2 D (9 x 9) filters did not. The phantom study also demonstrated that MHFF preserved the signal better than any other preprocessing. The median filter introduced a smaller distortion than the 2 D (9 x 9) and 3 D filters. It is concluded that MHFF applied with two or three harmonics on the raw data or after preprocessing by a median (3 x 3) filter is the most successful way of preserving the real signal. It is believed that the other filters should be avoided. The clinical advantage of MHFF processing is to provide both very accurate filtering and parametric images.