To identify the clinical significance of the isointegral body surface map of the QRST interval (QRST map) and the occurrence of repolarization abnormalities in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the QRST map and signal-averaged electrocardiogram were evaluated in 50 patients with HCM, in 33 of whom the results were compared with nuclear images both for radioiodine-labeled fatty acid metabolism and for radiothallium perfusion. The QRST departure map was used to determine two parameters of difference between patient and control recordings: the subnormal area (the number of lead points at which the departure index values were negative and lay more than 2 SDs from the mean of the normal control group) and the subnormal minimum (the absolute value of the minimum in the departure map). Late potentials were detected in 6 (12%) of the 50 patients; they were observed in 3 of the 5 patients with dilated-phase HCM but in only 3 (7%) of the other 45 patients. The subnormal area and minimum values were lower in nonobstructive HCM than in dilated-phase HCM. Of the 33 patients examined by myocardial imaging, 28 (33%) had a filling defect or decreased uptake, as shown on fatty acid metabolic images, and 10 of the 28 also showed abnormal myocardial perfusion images, while the 18 others showed normal perfusion images. These 28 patients showed significantly larger values of the subnormal area and minimum than patients with normal results in both image tests, regardless of whether or not myocardial perfusion imaging abnormalities were present. The localization of filling defects or of decreased uptake presented in fatty acid metabolic images corresponded to the position of the minimum on the QRST departure map. These results suggest that the QRST map is useful for detection of repolarization abnormalities in HCM and that these abnormalities are highly related to impaired fatty acid utilization of the myocardium.