The pneumocardiogram measures the to-and-fro movement of gas from the lung with each heartbeat during apnea. Six mongrel dogs were prepared with chronic ascending aortic or pulmonary artery flow probes, corresponding occlusion cuffs and intraventricular pressure transducers. Under halothane anesthesia, the flow pneumocardiogram (PnCG) and its time derivative (acceleration pneumocardiogram or dPn/dt) were transduced during apnea by a small high-gain pneumotachograph. All variables were recorded on paper. The effects on the pneumocardiogram of great vessel occlusion, changes in cardiac loading, small airway patency, and chest wall integrity were investigated. Four of the animals were treated subsequently to produce a chemical cardiac denervation and restudied. The systolic component of the dPn/dt which correlates with myocardial contractility (IJ wave) was dependent primarily on left ventricular (LV) ejection, markedly affected by cardiac preload and modified by afterload changes to a lesser degree. Small airway closure obliterated the wave form, while opening the chest wall attenuated the dPn/dt IJ wave by 25%. This study shows the dPn/dt IJ wave is anatomically related to LV performance and responds to changes in LV function similar to other non-invasive cardiac measurements.