The accuracy of a computer system that was developed for the analysis of ST segment changes recorded on Holter ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring tapes was compared with conventional visual scrutiny, beat by beat analog printouts and a commercial J point trend system. The program calculates and plots multiple electrocardiographically derived variables in a high temporal resolution trend format. Fifty tapes of good recording quality obtained from 19 patients (13 with chronic stable angina and 6 with variant angina) were assessed visually and with the computer system; of these, 20 were analyzed by all four techniques. In the 50 tapes, 629 episodes of diagnostic ST segment changes (all true positive results) were identified by using the computer system. In contrast, only 507 were identified by visual scrutiny; none of these 507 episodes was missed by computer analysis. On the 20 tapes assessed using computer, visual, beat by beat analog and J point trend system analysis, 268, 221, 230 and 178 episodes, respectively, were documented. For the four techniques, false negative and positive results were 0, 47, 38 and 90 and 0, 10, 6 and 24, respectively. The results indicate that, of the systems assessed in this study, the computer program provides the highest accuracy for detection of transient ST segment changes. This is probably accreditable to the compact presentation of multiple electrocardiographically derived variables, allowing a detailed quantitative assessment of 24 hour tapes. It is of particular value for pathophysiologic and pharmacologic studies.