A Doppler guided retrograde catheterization system was developed to accurately catheterize the aortic root and left ventricular chamber without X-ray. This system consists of a 20 MHz, 0.076 mm thick x 1.016 mm diameter pulsed Doppler crystal integrated into the tip of a 100 cm multipurpose triple lumen catheter. Two lumens (0.61 mm) are used for electrodes; a third lumen (1.245 mm) may be used for guidewire and pressure determination; and the system is attached to a flow velocimeter. In an aortic arch flow model, the principles of Doppler signal guidance were confirmed with flow toward the catheter tip demonstrating positive signals and flow away from the catheter tip demonstrating negative signals. The magnitude and polarity (direction) of the detected phasic and mean velocities were utilized to guide catheterization in six dogs. Using the reversal of Doppler signal polarity to indicate branch entry and manipulating the catheter so as to maintain maximal positive axial velocity, the Doppler catheter was successfully advanced from the femoral artery to the aortic valve. Branches detected by the Doppler system were confirmed by fluoroscopy. The aortic valve was audible when approached and the left ventricular chamber was recognized by its characteristic pressure waveform. The Doppler guided retrograde catheterization system offers new technology to perform left heart catheterization without X-ray and may prove useful in a variety of settings including the development of invasive ultrasonic diagnostic and therapeutic technology.