Inflammatory diseases of the heart encompass myocarditis, endocarditis and pericarditis. This paper discusses the diagnostic potential of scintigraphy in these entities. In myocarditis, indium-111 antimyosin Fab imaging can visualize active myocyte damage and thus contribute substantially to the diagnosis. Antimyosin uptake is also seen in a large subset of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, indicating ongoing myocyte injury in these cases. In endocarditis, immunoscintigraphy using monoclonal technetium-99m-labelled antigranulocyte antibodies provides useful diagnostic information in patients with equivocal echocardiographic findings. Immunoscintigraphy seems to indicate the floridity of the inflammatory process in endocarditis and may be used to monitor antibiotic therapy. In pericarditis, the clinical value of scintigraphy has not been convincingly demonstrated.