Location of the equivalent cardiac dipole has been estimated but not fully verified in several laboratories. To test the accuracy of such a procedure, injury vectors were produced in 14 isolated, perfused rabbit hearts by epicardial searing. Strongly dipolar excitation fronts were produced in 6 additional hearts by left ventricular pacing. 20 computer processed signals, derived from surface electrodes on a spherical electrolyte filled tank containing the test preparation, were optimally fitted with a locatable cardiac dipole that accounted for over 99% of the root mean square surface potential. For the 14 burns (mean radius 5.0 mm), the S-T injury dipole was located 3.4 ± 0.7 (SD) mm from the burn center. For the 6 paced hearts, the dipole early in the ectopic beat was located 3.7 mm (range 2.6 to 4.6 mm) from the stimulating electrode. Phase inhomogeneities within the chamber appeared to have a small but equivalent on dipole site determination. The study demonstrates that equivalent dipole location can be determined with acceptable accuracy from potential measurements of the external cardiac field.