Most count-based radionuclide methods for calculating left ventricular volume rely on measurement of radioactivity in a peripheral blood sample and a measurement of ventricle to collimator distance. We have developed a method which requires neither a blood sample nor a distance measurement and which is applicable to first-pass radionuclide angiography. The parameters used to calculate volume are the area of pixel, the total counts in the left ventricle and the maximum pixel count. The equation was used to calculate the volumes in 50 patients who had both resting first-pass radionuclide angiography (25 patients with a single crystal and 25 patients with a multicrystal camera) and contrast ventriculography on the same day. Correlation coefficients for end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes showed r ranging 0.93-0.98 and standard error of estimate ranging 23-35 ml for end-diastolic volume (14%-17% of mean end-diastolic volume) and 16-23 ml for end-systolic volume (18%-21% of mean end-systolic volume). Image processing software for extracting the needed values is generally available on most commercial nuclear medicine imaging systems and the additional time for the calculations is short. Although the theory is based on multiple assumptions, the volume calculation appears to be reasonably accurate and clinically applicable.