To assess the effects of age on the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), we performed radionuclide angiocardiography at rest and during upright bicycle exercise in 77 healthy volunteers 20 to 95 years of age. Radionuclide measurements included left ventricular ejection fraction, end-diastolic volume, and regional wall motion. Age did not appear to influence any of these indexes at rest. However, during exercise the ejection fraction was less than 0.60 in 45 per cent of subjects over age 60 as compared with 2 per cent of younger subjects (P < 0.001). In addition, there was a decline in the change in LVEF (exercise LVEF minus rest LVEF) with increase in age (r = -0.71). Wall-motion abnormalities during exercise occurred with increasing frequency in patients who were 50 and older. In the older subjects these age-related changes in ejection fraction during exercise were not associated with differences in end-diastolic volume or blood pressure.