Long-term survival in patients with mild to moderate impairment of left ventricular contractility in the absence of coronary artery disease has not been studied extensively but the prognosis is assumed to be good. One hundred sixty-eight patients with angiographic evidence of mild or moderate impairment of left ventricular contractility and no other significant cardiac disease at the time of routine diagnostic cardiac catheterization were studied to determine long-term survival and event-free survival. Clinical characteristics, electrocardiograms, chest X-rays, laboratory data, and hemodynamics including end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, stroke volume, ejection fraction, and regional wall motion at the time of catheterization were examined. Patients with moderate impairment were more likely to have dyspnea (P = 0.005) and an abnormal electrocardiogram (P = 0.006) than patients with mild impairment, Mean ejection fraction was 57% (P = 0.0001 vs. normal) in patients with mild impairment and was 47% (P = 0.0001 vs, normal) in patients with moderate impairment. Wall motion studies showed impairment to be generalized and more significantly abnormal in patients with moderate impairment. Survival at a mean of 138 months could be determined in 162 of the 168 patients (96%), Fourteen year actuarial survival was 92% for patients with mild impairment compared to 75% for patients with moderate impairment (P = 0.01).