BACKGROUND The Cardiac Depression Scale (CDS) is a disease-specific instrument for measuring depression in cardiac patients. This study was designed to validate the CDS in an Iranian population. METHODS Translation and back-translation of the 26-item CDS scale was performed using recommended procedures. The Iranian translation of the CDS (I-CDS) was administered to 261 individuals in Iran, concurrently with the Beck Depression Inventory. The factor structure of the I-CDS was examined using exploratory factor analysis procedures to enable comparison with previous psychometric evaluation of the CDS. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to examine the ability of the I-CDS to discriminate between categories of depression. RESULTS First-order exploratory factor analysis uncovered two robust factors, consistent with the second-order dimensions originally reported by the developers of this instrument. Cronbach's alpha was .88 for the total 26-item I-CDS, indicating satisfactory internal consistency of the I-CDS. Intercorrelation between the total scores for the I-CDS and BDI was .62 (p<.001). For the I-CDS cut-off of 90, the sensitivity was 85%, and specificity was 61% with a computed area under the curve (AUC) of 0.81 (95% CI, 0.76-0.87). For the I-CDS cut-off of 100, the sensitivity was 81%, and specificity was 63% with a computed AUC of 0.81 (95% CI, 0.76-0.87). CONCLUSION This validation study of the Iranian version of the CDS demonstrated that it is an acceptable, reliable, and valid measure of depression in people with heart disease.