Noninvasive myocardial imaging with potassium-43 and rubidium-81 has been used successfully to identify areas of infarction and exercise-induced ischemia as regions of decreased radioactivity. The image defects observed are believed to be due to a decreased radionuclide uptake in regions of myocardial scar or to heterogeneous myocardial accumulation of tracer as a result of regional ischemia. Of 27 patients with left bundle branch block studied with noninvasive imaging at rest and during exercise, 25 manifested at rest reduced radioactivity in the region of the interventricular septum. This pattern is similar to that seen in patients with anteroseptal myocardial infarction. Sixteen of the 27 patients underwent diagnostic coronary arteriography and left ventriculography. Only five of these patients had evidence of either previous infarction or significant obstructive coronary artery disease as assessed with clinical or angiographic criteria, or both. Although the image defect was routinely demonstrated at rest in patients with left bundle branch block, this defect was generally normalized or less distinct with exercise in patients with no anatomic heart disease. In contrast, a larger, more distinct or new image defect with exercise correctly identified the presence of significant obstructive coronary artery disease in patients with left bundle branch block. In the clinical application of noninvasive myocardial imaging, these image defects observed at rest can lead to the false pasitive radionuclide interpretation of anteroseptal myocardial infarction.