Decreased cardiac output is a common presumption in left ventricular myocardial dysfunction in neonates, but because of a lack of reliable noninvasive techniques, data on cardiac output are missing. We measured cardiac output by pulsed Doppler echocardiography in 22 newborn infants with left ventricular myocardial dysfunction diagnosed by M-mode echocardiography. Eleven neonates had severe perinatal asphyxia, seven had tachypnea, two hypoglycemia, and one septic shock; one had no symptoms. Right ventricular function was abnormal in 13 of the 22 infants. Hypotension was found in eight; cardiac output and stroke volume were low in 20. The abnormalities were more pronounced in infants with asphyxia. Six such infants were given dopamine (4 to 10 micrograms/kg/min). Within 1 hour, arterial blood pressure, cardiac output, stroke volume, and heart rate increased sharply, with normalization of the myocardial contractility; the other echocardiographic abnormalities normalized over 24 to 48 hours. Pulsed Doppler echocardiography is an advance in the detection and evaluation of therapy for left ventricular myocardial dysfunction in the neonate.