In clinical cardiology, stenosis in a coronary artery is measured on the basis of visual assessment. The reading of coronary arteriograms leads, however, to large inter- and intra-observer variability. Image analysis and computer assistance result in a more consistent assessment, but this approach is mainly based upon static geometric parameters, such as diameter reduction of a segment of the stenosed artery. A more functional, physiological measurement is thus desirable. This can be realised by measuring the difference between the normal coronary blood flow and the increased flow under hyperaemic conditions, yielding the so-called coronary flow reserve (CFR). In clinical practice, however, this method is difficult and time-consuming. A less demanding approach is reported, in which relative flow distributions are determined densitometrically from digital angiograms acquired under basal and hyperaemic conditions. The proposition is that, if the relative flow distribution in hyperaemic state differs from that during rest, the functional severity of a stenosis downstream from the bifurcation can be indicated. The new approach is validated by comparing the results of a theoretical model for steady flow with a flow phantom experiment for steady and pulsatile flow. The obtained flow ratios correlate very well, both in steady and pulsatile flow, with correlation coefficients exceeding 0.95.