There are significant differences in attenuation coefficients between normal and infarcted myocardium measurable with a computerized transaxial tomographic scanner. Additionally, iodinated contrast material administered prior to killing the tests animals resulted in excellent visualization of the blood-myocardial interface at a time when standard radiographs detected no differences between the ventricular cavity and the myocardial wall. These natural and induced changes in attenuation coefficients offer a new approach to evaluating and understanding the processes of tissue injury and death. Their clinical relevance lies in application to the twin problems of myocardial infarction and the structure and function of the cardiac wall.