Twenty-two patients with Ebstein's anomaly were evaluated because of recurrent tachycardia. A total of 30 accessory pathways were present in 21 of the 22 patients. Twenty-six accessory pathways were of the atrioventricular (A-V) type while four were Mahaim fibers. Multiple accessory pathways were present in eight patients. Twenty-five of the 26 accessory A-V pathways were right-sided, either in the posterior septum (12 pathways) or the posterolateral free wall (13 pathways); one patient with corrected transposition of the great arteries had a left-sided accessory A-V pathway in a lateral free wall location. Patients with accessory A-V pathways had a long minimal ventriculoatrial (V-A) conduction time during reciprocating tachycardia (192 +/- 47 ms) and usually showed a persistent complete or incomplete right bundle branch block morphology. At surgery, preexcitation was invariably localized to the atrialized ventricle. The long V-A conduction time during reciprocating tachycardia appeared to consist of late activation of the local ventricle in the region of the accessory pathway with a further delay occurring before excitation of adjacent atrium presumably due to conduction over the accessory pathway. Accessory A-V pathways were successfully sectioned with no deaths in 13 of 15 patients. On the basis of these data, certain electrocardiographic findings encountered in the study of patients with recurrent tachycardia should point to the possibility of associated Ebstein's anomaly: morphology of the surface electrocardiogram suggesting preexcitation of the right posterior septum or right posterolateral free wall as well as the combination during reciprocating tachycardia of a long V-A interval and right bundle branch block.