The regional function of the left ventricle can be visualized in real-time using the new strain rate imaging method. Deformation or strain of a tissue segment occurs over time during the cardiac cycle. The rate of this deformation, the strain rate, is equivalent to the velocity gradient, and can be estimated using the tissue Doppler technique. We present the strain rate as color-coded 2-dimensional cine-loops and color M-modes showing the strain rate component along the ultrasound beam axis. We tested the method in 6 healthy subjects and 6 patients with myocardial infarction. In the healthy hearts, a spatially homogeneous distribution of the strain rate was found. In the infarcted hearts, all the infarcted areas in this study showed up as hypokinetic or akinetic, demonstrating that this method may be used for imaging of regional dysfunction. Shortcomings of the method are discussed, as are some possible future applications of the method.