Relations have been demonstrated between the preejection period (PEP) and indexes of left ventricular (LV) systolic function. Doppler tissue M-mode imaging has the capability to measure wall velocities and to display as colored strips within the walls velocity reversals representing changes in direction of wall motion. To document LV preejectional wall motions, this procedure was performed on 16 normal subjects with a twofold purpose: to measure septal and posterior preejectional intramyocardial velocities and durations and to correlate preejectional parameters with LV ejection fraction (LVEF). Parasternal M-mode images of simultaneously recorded walls were digitized. Subendocardial wall velocities were measured every 3.8 ms from the Q wave to the onset of ejection. Total duration measured from Doppler tissue and flow traces was compared in 10 subjects. PEP total duration did not differ between both walls or techniques. Several adjacent velocity reversals with mirror signs in opposite walls were substantiated by 2 to 5 colored strips. Colored strips corresponding to the same sign in each wall had a progressively damped velocity amplitude (septum 19 +/- 8, -21 +/- 10, 15 +/- 7, -8 +/- 5, 4 +/- 2 mm/s; posterior wall -13 +/- 16, 11 +/- 7, -8 +/- 5, 9 +/- 6, -2 mm/s). Peak velocity values of opposite signs significantly differed between both walls (p <0.0001). Absolute values differed only for colored strips 2 and 3 (p <0.009). Strip 2 featured a simultaneous early inward motion of both walls toward the LV cavity with significantly prolonged duration (p <0.0001). The only positive correlation with LVEF was found for peak velocities of strip 2 in the posterior wall (r = 0.71, p <0.006). Thus, the posterior wall and its inward motion velocities have potential for future clinical implications.