To investigate the effects of complete and incomplete revascularization on the response to exercise, 25 patients underwent symptom‐limited exercise testing with continuous assessment of gas exchange a mean of 5 ± 4 days prior to and 18 ± 12 days following percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. All antianginal medications were discontinued for testing. Revascularization was considered complete if all stenoses were reduced to less than 50% diameter (13 patients), and incomplete if one or more stenoses remained (12 patients). Consistent improvements in ST‐segment depression were observed after angioplasty at matched submaximal exercise levels (mean range 0.5‐0.8 mm; p < 0.05), and were accompanied by a reduction in angina. Significant increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure were observed at peak exercise following angioplasty in both groups. Gas exchange variables were significantly improved at maximal exercise, with a similar increase in oxygen uptake observed in both groups following angioplasty (mean increase 3.3‐3.7 ml/kg/rnin; p < 0.01). Thus, incomplete revascularization following coronary angioplasty resulted in hemodynamic, electrocardiographic, symptomatic, and gas exchange responses to exercise that were comparable to complete revascularization.