The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are abnormalities in blood flow velocity pattern of the brachial artery in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Brachial artery blood flow velocities were measured with duplex Doppler ultrasonography in 12 normal subjects, 31 patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), and 26 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). None of the patients had clinical evidence of arterial disorders at upper extremities. In both patient groups, the presence of hypertension was correlated with the peak systolic velocity (r=0.48, p<0.05). Patients with heart failure had significantly larger (p<0.0001) peak reverse velocity (20 +/-6 m/sec) than healthy subjects (5 +/-4 m/sec) and patients with CAD (7 +/-3 m/sec). Peak reverse velocity did not differ significantly between normal subjects and CAD group. These data indicate that the blood flow velocity pattern at brachial artery is abnormal in CHF. The simple measurement of brachial artery flow velocity suggests changes in peripheral vasculature related to CHF.