The relation between T-wave changes and regional contraction during dobutamine stress echocardiography at low (5 to 10 microg/kg/min) and high (20 to 40 microg/kg/min) doses in 43 consecutive patients, early (7+/-2 days) after first recent Q-wave acute myocardial infarction has been evaluated. T-wave changes detected in > or =2 infarct-related electrocardiographic leads during dobutamine infusion were defined as follow: (1) negative T waves becoming positive, (2) positive T waves becoming upright > or =2 mm, and (3) negative T waves becoming upright > or =2 mm from baseline. Wall motion score index (WMSI) was defined as the sum of the echocardiographic scores of 16 segments divided by total segments considered at baseline, and at low and peak doses of dobutamine. Patients were classified... according to the absence or presence of dobutamine T-wave changes. Those without T-wave changes had a significantly higher WMSI at rest (1.68+/-0.23 vs 1.50+/-0.21; p <0.05) and at peak (1.77+/-0.34 vs 1.51+/-.30 p <0.05) of dobutamine stress testing, without higher incidence of viability, homozonal, and heterozonal ischemia and chest pain. The angiographic patterns were similar between groups. Regression analysis showed a significant correlation between WMSI and T-wave amplitude at baseline (R = 0.38, p = 0.01) and at peak dobutamine stress testing (R = 0.50, p = 0.0006). The sensitivity sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of T-wave changes to detect myocardial viability were 0.27, 0.84, and 0.70, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of T-wave changes to detect homozonal ischemia were 0.76, 0.27, and 0.46, respectively. In conclusion, dobutamine-induced T-wave changes are associated with a greater extent of wall motion abnormalities both at rest and at peak stress echocardiography, but they are of little value in predicting myocardial viability when analyzed early after myocardial infarction.