Functional significance of renal artery stenosis (RAS) was assessed by 99Tcm-DTPA radionuclide scintigraphy, using the mean parenchymal transit time (MPTT) of the tracer as an index of renovascular disorder. Two groups of subjects were investigated retrospectively: eight normal live kidney donors; and 11 patients with hypertension, six with and five without significant RAS. MPTT was 171 +/- 11 s in the kidney donors, and there was a significantly prolonged MPTT in patients with RAS, 313 +/- 27 s (p less than 0.05). MPTT was also prolonged in three hypertensive patients with intrinsic renal disorders. The advantages and limitations of this technique are discussed. It is concluded that prolongation of MPTT can detect functionally significant renovascular disorder without pharmacological challenge.