The accuracy of electrocardiography, M-mode echocardiography and two-dimensional echocardiography in predicting left ventricular hypertrophy was compared in 50 patients who came to autopsy within 6 months after the studies were performed. Several methods for determining left ventricular hypertrophy were examined for each of the three techniques. M-mode echocardiography was technically adequate to evaluate the presence or absence of left ventricular hypertrophy more often than either electrocardiography or two-dimensional echocardiography. Measurements from M-mode echocardiography also correlated best with autopsy measurements. Both echocardiographic techniques had a higher sensitivity than electrocardiographic criteria in diagnosing left ventricular hypertrophy. Two-dimensional echocardiography was not shown to improve the M-mode assessment of left ventricular hypertrophy. In an attempt to simplify both M-mode left ventricular mass calculations and the diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy for the clinician, a left ventricular mass nomogram was constructed, enabling quick insertion of standard M-mode echocardiographic measurements.