Integrated backscatter and its cyclic variation are potentially important parameters to discriminate normal from diseased myocardium. Cyclic variation of integrated backscatter is expected to be independent of machine settings. Backscatter images of swine hearts were taken using a two-dimensional backscatter system while acoustic power was varied at different time gain control (TGC) settings. Cyclic variation was measured in vivo with various acoustic power and TGC settings using different transducer frequencies. Three different regions were analyzed. For any given TGC setting, the relationship between acoustic power and integrated backscatter in vitro was linear only over a narrow range. In vivo, cyclic variation was present at all regions studied in both long- and short-axis views. However, lower acoustic power (< 15 dB) and TGC (< 20 dB), or excessive settings of acoustic power (> 35 dB) and TGC (> 50 dB), produced minimal cyclic variation. Appropriate acoustic power (20-35 dB) and TGC (30-50 dB) produced larger and more consistent cyclic, variation at the posterior region of the left ventricle. These data indicate that each region has specific, appropriate machine settings to maximize the magnitude of cyclic variation.