Increased coronary blood vessel development could potentially benefit patients with ischemic heart disease. In a model of stress-induced myocardial ischemia, intracoronary injection of a recombinant adenovirus expressing human fibroblast growth factor-5 (FGF-5) resulted in messenger RNA and protein expression of the transferred gene. Two weeks after gene transfer, regional abnormalities in stress-induced function and blood flow were improved, effects that persisted for 12 weeks. Improved blood flow and function were associated with evidence of angiogenesis. This report documents, for the first time, successful amelioration of abnormalities in myocardial blood flow and function following in vivo gene transfer.