Epicardial mapping was used as a standard to investigate how well the limb leads, both alone and in conjunction with 5 select epicardial electrodes, can verify reproducibility in a common, open-chest canine model of ventricular tachycardia (VT). Reproducible VT was defined as 2 or more episodes of monomorphic VT with similar rates, limb lead tracings and epicardial maps. In this study, 21 dogs underwent 2-hour occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery followed by reperfusion. Three days later, programmed stimulation was used to induce VT that was analyzed with limb leads I, II and III and 27 simultaneously recorded, bipolar epicardial electrodes. Thirteen dogs had VT of which 11 had polymorphic VT (varying QRS morphology). Twelve dogs yielded at least 1 form of monomorphic VT. Eight had 2 or more distinct forms of monomorphic VT (pleomorphism). Four of these 8 dogs had pleomorphic VT that was not apparent from the limb lead tracings, but was recognized from the epicardial activation maps constructed from the 27 epicardial recordings. To provide a method of distinguishing various VTs without the need of full epicardial mapping, 5 of the 27 epicardial electrodes were selected. These were postitioned over the midanterior and midposterior right and left ventricles, and the left ventricular apex. By analyzing electrogram morphology and activation time, VT reproducibility could be as accurately identified with these 5 electrodes as with epicardial mapping derived from 27 electrodes. In conclusion, multiple VT morphologies are common in this open-chest canine model. Limb lead recordings alone are inadequate for analysis of VT reproducibility. The limb leads in conjunction with 5 select epicardial electrodes can verify VT reproducibility as well as 27-electrode epicardial maps.