Strength-interval curves and conduction times were determined in anesthetized dogs during and following myocardial ischemia using a computerized system capable of determining a 5 point strength-interval curve with conduction times within 20 seconds. At the peak incidence of ligation arrhythmias (5 minutes of ischemia), the falling limb of the strength-interval curve was shifted to the left and conduction time was prolonged, while at 15 minutes of ischemia, the strength-interval was shifted upward and conduction times had returned toward control. Lidocaine enhanced the upward shift of the strength-interval curve, contributing to the electrical stability of the myocardium during this phase of ischemia. During the first minute following abrupt reperfusion of the ischemic zone, there was a slight downward shift of the early part of the strength-interval curve, and conduction times tended to be shorter than control. Lidocaine enhanced the electrophysiological alterations following abrupt reperfusion; that is, it reduced excitation thresholds and increased the tendency to superconductivity. Thus, lidocaine enhanced electrical stability during acute ischemia but tended to exaggerate electrophysiologic defects observed during abrupt reperfusion.