The distribution of blood flow to the subendocardial, medium and subepicardial layers of the left ventricular free wall was studied in anaesthetized dogs under normoxic (A), hypoxic (B) conditions and under pharmacologically induced (etafenone) coronary vasodilation (C). Regional myocardial blood flow was determined by means of the particle distribution method. In normoxia a transmural gradient of flow was observed, with the subendocardial layers receiving a significantly higher flow rate compared with the subepicardial layers. In hypoxia induced vasodilation this transmural gradient of flow was persistent. In contrast a marked redistribution of regional flow was observed under pharmacologically induced vasodilation. The transmural gradient decreased. In contrast to some findings these experiments demonstrate that a considerable vasodilatory capacity exists in all layers of the myocardium and can be utilized by drugs. The differences observed for the intramural distribution pattern of flow under hypoxia and drug induced vasodilation support the hypothesis that this pattern reflects corresponding gradients of regional myocardial metabolism.