The anatomic origin of ventricular arrhythmias occurring immediately after coronary arterial ligation was studied in 32 dogs. The electrocardiogram and seven single or composite bipolar electrograms were recorded from various sites within and surrounding the ischemic area in the left and right ventricles. Delay and fragmentation in the activation of the epicardial ischemic zone of the left ventricle, bridging diastole, preceded the appearance of ventricular arrhythmias and were continuous during the rhythm disorders. So-called left and right ventricular arrhythmias were associated with similar delay and fragmentation in left ventricular ischemic epicardial activity. Multiple and simultaneous activation of both the right and left ventricles produced ventricular fusion premature complexes. Multiple exit points increased before ventricular fibrillation occurred. The ultimate origin of premature ectopic impulse formation in the ventricles is not necessarily related to one or more exit points in either ventricle. Ischemic damage to the heart produces ventricular arrhythmias that appear to originate from both ventricles. The site of origin of ventricular arrhythmias should not be the sole factor in assessing the benign or malignant properties of the arrhythmia.