Reports have suggested that the interval between P wave onset and the fourth heart sound (P-S4 interval) reflects changes in left ventricular myocardial stiffness. We made simultaneous measurements of the P-S4 or atrial electrogram to S4 (A-S4) interval and left ventricular pressure in 19 patients with coronary artery disease who were studied before and after atrial pacing. Thirteen patients developed angina accompanied by significant rises in their end-diastolic pressure and a consistent decrease in P-S4 or A-S4 interval; whereas the six patients who had atrial pacing without the development of angina had no change in end-diastolic pressure, P-S4, or A-S4 interval. The resting data showed in inverse correlation between left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and the P-S4 interval. In addition, the P-S4 interval let us discriminate between patients with normal and abnormal end-diastolic pressure (greater than 15 mmHg).