Strees thallium imaging is a sensitive technique for detecting coronary artery disease, particularly in those patients with multivessel disease. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is superior to planar imaging; because of improved image quality and lack of overlap between normal and abnormal segments, SPECT has greater ability to detect diseased arteries. The inherent three-dimensional nature of the data presentation suggests the feasibility of quantifying the extent of myocardium at risk. Pharmacologic stressors such as adenosine and dipyridamole allow imaging with thallium (and probably other perfusion agents) even in patients who are not candidates for exercise testing or who cannot achieve adequate levels of exercise. Studies suggest that adenosine has unique advantages for use with SPECT perfusion imaging with a high degree of accuracy. In our experience the sensitivity of detecting one-vessel disease is higher with adenosine-thallium imaging than in exercise SPECT thallium imaging. The degree of cononary hyperemia is greater and the duration of action is shorter with adenosine than with dipyridamole. © 1991.