Peripheral hemodynamics and some metabolic parameters were studied in 20 patients with coronary artery disease (x = 59 +/- 9 y) and in 20 healthy volunteers (x = 25 +/- 3 y) at rest and after isometric handgrip exercise both before and after administration of pimobendan or placebo using a randomized, double-blind study. Forearm blood flow was measured using venous occlusion plethysmography. In pimobendan treated patients and volunteers an increase in forearm blood flow between 9% and 38% could be noticed. The increase in forearm blood flow was significant in comparison to placebo only, in volunteers under resting conditions. Heart rate increased significantly by 14-19% in all groups after administration of pimobendan. There were no alterations in blood pressure. Local resistance in forearm fell by 13-22%. Pimobendan did not change metabolic parameters.