We reviewed the records of 44 dialysis patients who had undergone one or more coronary angiograms to determine the frequency with which symptomatic ischemic heart disease (IHD) and significant coronary artery narrowing coincided and to determine those factors which were associated with the coronary atherosclerotic process. Thirty-four patients were catheterized for angina pectoris or myocardial infarction. Of this group, 53% were found to have significant narrowing of coronary arteries. This group was older than the group with trivial or no coronary artery occlusion and their duration of dialysis was shorter. All the patients with significant coronary occlusion were white and the majority were adult males. Discriminant function analysis revealed that the presence of significant coronary artery occlusion could be predicted with high sensitivity and specificity by the following variables: older age, white race, male sex, the presence of symptomatic IHD prior to the onset of dialysis, increased total serum cholesterol, abnormal left ventricular wall motion, and reduced alkaline phosphatase. We also found that the occurrence of symptomatic IHD far exceeded the presence of significant atherosclerotic coronary artery narrowing. We suggest that this may result from several dialysis-associated alterations in oxygen delivery and myocardial oxygen consumption.