The optimal role of Doppler echocardiography in the evaluation of patients with acute chest pain syndromes is unclear. We prospectively studied a cohort of 466 patients admitted with acute chest pain syndromes to clarify the relation between echocardiographic data and the risk of serious predischarge complications, and to determine if echocardiographic data can provide incremental prognostic information beyond clinical and electrocardiographic variables. Doppler echocardiograms, performed an average of 21 hours after presentation, were independently analyzed by 2 echocardiographers for information on global left and right ventricular function and valvular disease. Regional function was assessed by a wall motion index (WMI). A composite complications end point was positive if significant recurrent myocardial ischemia, heart failure, or arrhythmia developed after the echocardiogram. In univariate analysis, left (odds ratio [OR] 2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 5.1) and right (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2, 6.2) ventricular function, left ventricular end-diastolic (OR 1.6/cm, 95% CI 1.1, 2.3) and end-systolic (OR 1.4/cm, 95% CI 1.1, 1.9) dimensions, and WMI (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.8, 4.8) predicted complications that developed after the echocardiogram. In multivariate analysis, WMI remained an incremental predictor of risk with an OR of 2.2/unit (95% CI 1.2, 3.9) scaled from 1 to 4. Even in the subset of 403 patients without acute myocardial infarction, WMI was associated with an OR of 1.9 (95% CI 1.0, 3.7). We conclude that early echocardiography provides incremental prognostic information concerning risk of subsequent complications in patients hospitalized with chest pain.