Twenty-four normal subjects and 181 patients with various cardiac disorders (36 autopsies) were studied by 2-dimensional echocardiography. In vitro echocardiographic studies were performed on 26 of 36 autopsied hearts utilizing an ultrasonically visible metallic probe to correlate myocardial echo patterns with histopathologic features. All normal subjects and the majority of patients with ventricular hypertrophy due to valvular or hypertensive lesions showed a uniformly speckled or an echolucent appearance of the myocardium (type I texture). No autopsied heart with this texture had gross fibrosis (visible to the naked eye) or infiltrative disease. All patients with infiltrative disorders (amyloidosis, 7 of 7; Pompe's disease, 4 of 4) had multiple, discrete, and small (3 to 5 mm) highly refractile echoes (HREs) in the myocardium involving the ventricle or ventricles completely (type IIA texture) or partly (type IIB texture). However, this finding was non-specific and was observed in many other conditions such as left heart hypoplastic syndrome (10 of 10), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (19 of 26), and chronic renal failure (4 of 9). In the noninfiltrative group, HREs in the autopsied cases were shown to result from gross fibrosis or endocardiofibroelastosis utilizing in vitro echocardiographic studies and metallic probe-guided biopsies, while HREs in the autopsied cases with cardiac amyloidosis could be correlated only with amyloid deposits since fibrosis was absent. Larger HREs (>5 mm) presenting as broad patches or long linear echoes in the myocardium (type IIC texture) was seen in old myocardial infarctions (9 of 21) and congestive cardiomyopathy (4 of 26) and were correlated with large areas of myocardial fibrosis. Two-dimensional echocardiographic studies of myocardial texture help identify various infiltrative and degenerative processes in the heart. © 1983 a.