Clinical, postmortem and angiographic studies of coronary calcification are reviewed to define the value of fluoroscopy in the diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease. Autopsy studies consistently show a unique association between calcification of the coronary arteries and atherosclerosis. The relation of coronary calcification to the presence of major stenosis is more variable but is strong enough to be of clinical value, particularly in the younger subject. The diagnostic value of fluoroscopy can be improved by attention to the detailed features of calcification observed with the technique. Combined use of fluoroscopy and exercise testing appears to be a valid and as yet unexploited approach to the noninvasive diagnosis of coronary stenosis. Fluoroscopy has been a neglected method of noninvasive diagnosis and is sufficiently promising to warrant greater clinical use.