We have developed criteria for radionuclide angiography to assess skin ulcer perfusion as an indicator of healing capacity. Twenty-six studies were performed on 21 consecutive patients with nonhealing ulcers of the lower leg; 20 mCi of technetium-99m phosphate was injected intravenously with immediate sequential scintillation camera imaging of the ulcer and surrounding area at 2 second intervals, followed by blood pool and delayed static images. Two radiologists without clinical bias graded the perfusion to the ulcer on the images as normal, increased, or reduced with respect to the opposite limb. Patients were either followed as outpatients for more than 10 days, as inpatients for at least 10 days, or both to determine whether ulcers showed clinical evidence of wound healing with optimal outpatient and in-hospital care. Of the 17 patients whose ulcers healed, imaging with technetium-99m phosphate predicted the outcome in 16. In nine patients the ulcers did not heal. This was correctly predicted by technetium-99m phosphate in eight of the patients. Overall, the sensitivity was 94 percent and the specificity was 89 percent. This technique appears to be a simple, reliable way to predict the microcirculatory adequacy for ulcer healing.