The relationships between rest conditions of myocardial asynergy, response to dobutamine administration, perfusion and glucose metabolism were examined in 12 patients with chronic coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. We evaluated (1) rest and stress myocardial perfusion by 99Tcm-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (MIBI) and single photon emission tomography (SPET), (2) rest myocardial segmental wall motion by trans-thoracic echocardiography and low-dose dobutamine, and (3) myocardial metabolism by [18F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18-FDG) and positron emission tomography (PET), in the fasting state. The analysis was carried out on 16 left ventricular myocardial segments. The SPET studies were analysed semi-quantitatively by normalization to the peak activity. Wall motion was assessed by a visual score. An 18FDG index was determined as the tissue/blood pool radioactivity ratio in each segment. The results showed: (1) remarkably good agreement between the number of dobutamine responsive segments and 18FDG positive segments among those that were only moderately hypoperfused and hypokinetic; (2) a smaller number of dobutamine responsive segments than 18FDG positive segments among those that were hypoperfused and akinetic; and (3) the presence of 18FDG in 50% of the segments that were severely hypoperfused and akinetic or dyskinetic and without improvement with dobutamine. These results indicate that in severely hypoperfused and akinetic or dyskinetic segments, trans-thoracic echocardiography under inotropic stimulation provides little additional information compared with that obtained with rest echocardiography and perfusion studies; the assessment of 18FDG uptake provides information that is complementary to that obtained by perfusion assessment, rest and dobutamine trans-thoracic echocardiography.