Severe hypertension causes global and regional changes in myocardial perfusion and substrate utilization. Regional perfusion and fatty acid utilization were evaluated by dual-tracer autoradiography in normotensive and hypertensive rats of the Dahl strain. The regional distributions of perfusion and fatty acid utilization were homogeneous in normotensive rats. Severe hypertension was associated with a homogeneous pattern of regional perfusion, but fatty acid utilization was focally decreased in the free wall of the left ventricle. The decrease in fatty acid uptake was associated with a concomitant increase in glucose utilization. These findings suggest that severe hypertension is associated with uniform myocardial perfusion and focal alterations in the substrates used for the performance of myocardial work.