The short-term hemodynamic and possible arrhythmogenic effects of intravenous salbutamol at a dose of 30 or 60 micrograms/min were evaluated in 14 patients with severe chronic left ventricular dysfunction using equilibrium radionuclide angiocardiography and electrocardiographic monitoring. Salbutamol infusions at a dose of 30 micrograms/min did not cause significant hemodynamic changes; however, at a dose of 60 micrograms/min there was a significant increase in stroke volume, cardiac output, and left ventricular ejection fraction. Heart rate increased significantly while systemic peripheral resistance decreased significantly. Two patients developed ventricular premature beats and another two supraventricular tachycardia, but none were associated with adverse consequences. Thus, high-dose intravenous salbutamol is effective and safe, and may be used in the acute management of patients with poor left ventricular function.