The aim of this study was to measure the changes in mitral and aortic blood flow induced by rate changes and different atrioventricular intervals in dual chamber pacemaker patients. Ten totally pacemaker dependant patients were studied under basal conditions, in double atrial and ventricular stimulation mode, by pulsed Doppler recordings of mitral and aortic flow, at three different pacing rates (80, 100 and 120/mn) and with three different atrioventricular intervals at each rate (short, 90 or 115 ms; medium, 165 or 190 ms; and long, 240 ms). The increase in pacing rate and prolongation of the atrioventricular interval significantly shortened the duration of mitral flow. Increasing the pacing rate induced a significant fall in stroke volume measured from the aortic flow. The optimal atrioventricular interval tended to shorten when the pacing rate was increased; a long atrioventricular interval had a deleterious effect on stroke volume compared with medium and short atrioventricular intervals; however, the difference between the short and medium atrioventricular intervals was not statistically significant even at 120 mn. These observations emphasise the hemodynamic advantages of shortening of the atrioventricular interval of dual chamber pacemakers when the pacing rate increases.