1. The direct cardiac effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor in 22 hypertensive patients were investigated. Radionuclide ventriculography and echocardiography were performed to measure left ventricular function before and 60 min after administration of a subdepressor dose of captopril. 2. Since the response to ACE inhibitor is not uniform, patients were classified into 12 patients without significant blood pressure change following captopril (group I) and 10 patients with reduction of blood pressure (group II). 3. Clinical and baseline haemodynamic characteristics were similar for the two groups. 4. Ejection fraction (EF) increased without changes of heart rate and end-diastolic dimension after ACE inhibitor in group I as well as group II. The change of EF was not different for the two groups. No correlation was found between changes in EF and blood pressure in group I patients. 5. This study indicates that ACE inhibitor might directly influence left ventricular function independent of systemic haemodynamic changes.