BACKGROUND: The pattern of left ventricular filling as depicted by Doppler echocardiographic transmitrial flow velocities has been used to left ventricular diastolic properties. Especially, altered transmitral flow by abnormal myocardial wall motion and left ventricular function in ischemic heart disease, was predicted during exercise test. METHODS: To determine the effects of exercise on Doppler echocardiographic measures of left ventricular diastolic filling, we studied 15 angina pectoris patients and 20 normal control subjects. Transmitral flow measurements comprised peak and integrated early passive(E) and late atrial(A) filling velocities and diastolic filling period. RESULTS: Heart rate in negative exercise treadmill test group was 70/min at rest, 111/min just after exercise, and 86/min at 5 minutes after exercise. Positive exercise treadmill test group was 69/min, 109/min and 82/min, respectively. DFP and E duration were also significantly decreased after exercise in group with negative treadmill exercise test. In positive treadmill exercise group, peak A was significantly increased from 0.57+/-0.15m/sec to 0.75+/-0.20m/sec at just after exercise(p<0.01), 0.67+/-0.12m/sec at 5 minuties after exercise. DFP and E duration were also significantly decreased after exercise. CONCLUSION: Doppler echocardiographic transmitral flow was altered by abnormal regional wall motion and left ventricular dysfunction in ischemic heart disease during exercise test. The use of Doppler echocardiography for this purpose is limited, however, because a number of variables may influence transmitral flow patterns, including age, preload, afterload and systolic function.