The purpose of this study was to examine the rest thallium-201 perfusion pattern during angina-free periods in 40 patients with rest angina pectoris secondary to coronary artery disease (≥70% diameter narrowing). Seventeen patients had previous Q wave myocardial infarction. The perfusion defects were considered fixed or reversible, depending on the absence or presence of redistribution in the 4-hour delayed images. There were 40 perfusion defects (26 fixed and 14 reversible) in 27 patients whereas 13 patients had normal scans. Reversible perfusion defects were present in 10 patients (25%). Of the 26 fixed perfusion defects, 17 did not have corresponding Q waves. Occluded vessels (63%) had more perfusion defects than vessels with subtotal occlusion (30%) (p < 0.01). The perfusion defect size was larger in patients with lower ejection fraction than in patients with higher ejection fraction. We conclude: (1) perfusion defects are common in patients with rest angina and are reversible in 25% of patients indicating reduced regional coronary blood flow; (2) the degree of stenosis affects the presence of perfusion defect; (3) fixed defects may be present without corresponding Q waves; and (4) global left ventricular function is related to the size of perfusion defects. © 1984.