Changes in high frequency QRS components of the electrocardiogram (HF QRS ECG) (150-250 Hz) are more sensitive than changes in conventional ST segments for detecting myocardial ischemia. We investigated the accuracy of 12-lead HF QRS ECG in detecting ischemia during adenosine tetrofosmin myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). 12-lead HF QRS ECG recordings were obtained from 45 patients before and during adenosine technetium-99 tetrofosmin MPI tests. Before the adenosine infusions, recordings of HF QRS were analyzed according to a morphological score that incorporated the number, type and location of reduced amplitude zones (RAZs) present in the 12 leads. During the adenosine infusions, recordings of HF QRS were analyzed according to the maximum percentage changes (in both the positive and negative directions) that occurred in root mean square (RMS) voltage amplitudes within the 12 leads. The best set of prospective HF QRS criteria had a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 83% for correctly identifying the MPI result. The sensitivity of simultaneous ST segment changes (18%) was significantly lower than that of any individual HF QRS criterion (P less than 0.00l). Analysis of 12-lead HF QRS ECG is highly sensitive and specific for detecting ischemic perfusion defects during adenosine MPI stress tests and significantly more sensitive than analysis of conventional ST segments.