Summary: A conscious animal model was developed in which coronary stenosis could be produced while regional myocardial function and local surface electrocardiograms were measured. Responses to isoprenaline stress in the presence of mild (latent) coronary stenosis were then examined. In the absence of coronary stenosis, isoprenaline produced increases in regional function and no change in the surface VCG; at higher doses, increases in the endocardial ST segments occurred. After partial coronary stenosis, which produced no apparent regional dysfunction or electrocardiographic changes, isoprenaline infusion for 3 min (0.02 μg·kg-1·min-1) rapidly produced decreases in percentage wall thickening (average 17 ±4%, mean ± SE, P <0.01) and increases in the mean sum of VCG ST segments by 0.23 ±0.06 mV (P <0.05). 1 min after stopping isoprenaline, most dogs showed further significant deterioration of both measures of ischaemia, but by 5 min there was no significant mean change from control. We conclude that in the presence of latent partial coronary stenosis, stress due to mild sympathomimetic stimulation alone can rapidly induce regional myocardial ischaemia. Deterioration of regional myocardial contractile function during such stress can provide a sensitive means of detecting latent coronary obstruction.