A method of determining the viability of tissue in a region of an organism comprises the steps of introducing an ATP repleting agent into the region and monitoring the region to determine its effect on T1-201 distribution in the region. The capability of viable tissue to synthesize ATP and increase its ATP stores provides an indication of the viability of the tissue in the region. In a preferred embodiment of the method, ribose, which is a high energy phosphate precursor and an ATP repleting agent, is introduced into heart tissue that is being monitored by T1-201 scintigraphy. The ribose increases the rate and extent of T1-201 distribution in the heart tissue, thereby allowing the determination of viable 'stunned' heart tissue. That viable tissue is distinguishable from nonviable tissue is attributed to the capability of the former to synthesize ATP and increase its ATP stores in response to the administration of the ATP repleting agent. Such manipulation of ATP stores in a region of tissue effects a detectable change in T1-201 distribution in that region. The method permits, therefore, the rapid determination of viable heart tissue.R
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