In patients with previous myocardial infarction and left ventricular asynergy, dipyridamole infusion may have the capacity to unmask myocardial viability through transient recovery of contractile function in asynergic segments. The purpose of this study was to assess simultaneous changes in myocardial perfusion and LV function--elicited by dipyridamole infusion--in infarcted, asynergic segments. The echo contrast agent Albunex was injected into the left coronary artery of 19 patients (17 males, age 49-70 years) with previous myocardial infarction and baseline left ventricular asynergy, both before and after dipyridamole infusion (up to 0.56 mg.kg-1, i.v.). Analysis was not possible in three patients due to inadequate image quality and in two due to weak contrast. There were no major adverse events, or changes in vital signs or demonstrated on the electrocardiogram. After dipyridamole, 7/14 patients, showed an improvement in regional function of asynergic segments ('responders'), whereas seven patients did not ('non-responders'). Among non-responders, five had a myocardial perfusion deficit corresponding to 41% of the total left ventricular area before dipyridamole and to 38% after dipyridamole. No baseline perfusion deficits were observed in the remaining two non-responders; one of these, however, developed transient asynergy and perfusion deficit after dipyridamole. Among responders, five showed a normal perfusion pattern, both before and after dipyridamole, while the remaining two showed a perfusion deficit which markedly decreased after dipyridamole (from 32% to 13% of total left ventricular area). Thus, residual contractile reserve of asynergic, infarcted ventricular segments appears to be associated with myocardial perfusion either preserved at baseline or recruitable by a coronary dilator stimulus.