Left ventricular long-axis function evaluated by M-mode or tissue Doppler echocardiography has been shown to be useful indexes of left ventricular systolic function; however it has not been evaluated in patients with mitral stenosis. We examined the left ventricular long-axis function of the patients with pure mitral stenosis and normal global systolic function as assessed by fractional shortening of the left ventricle (LV). Fifty-two patients with pure mitral stenosis and twenty-two healthy controls were evaluated by echocardiography. Although there was no statistically significant difference in global systolic function, M-mode derived systolic motion of the septal side and (12 +/- 3 vs 14.4 +/- 1.5 mm, P = 0.016) the lateral side of mitral annulus (13.2 +/- 3 vs 16.8 +/- 2 mm, P = 0.001) were both significantly lower in the patients with mitral stenosis than control subjects. Similarly tissue Doppler systolic velocity of the septal annulus (7.6 +/- 1.1 vs 10.4 +/- 3.2 cm/s, P = 0.03) and lateral mitral annulus (7.6 +/- 1.1 vs 10.4 +/- 3.2 cm/s, P = 0.003) were also significantly lower in patients with mitral stenosis than in controls. There was a statistically significant correlation between septal annular motion and annular velocity (r = 0.643, P = 0.002). Septal annular motion and annular velocity were also correlated with left atrial ejection fraction (r = 0.338, P = 0.005 and r = 0.676, P = 0.001, respectively). Thus, patients with mitral stenosis had significantly impaired long-axis function evaluated by M-mode or tissue Doppler echocardiography despite normal global systolic function.