A segmental two-parameter empirical deformable model is proposed for evaluating regional motion abnormality of the left ventricle. Short-axis tagged MRI scans were acquired from 10 healthy subjects and 10 postinfarct patients. Two motion parameters, contraction and rotation, were quantified for each cardiac segment by fitting the proposed model using a non-rigid registration algorithm. The accuracy in motion estimation was compared to a global model approach. Motion parameters extracted from patients were correlated to infarct transmurality assessed with delayed-contrast-enhanced MRI. The proposed segmental model allows markedly improved accuracy in regional motion analysis as compared to the global model for both subject groups (1.22-1.40 mm versus 2.31-2.55 mm error). By end-systole, all healthy segments experienced radial displacement by ∼25-35% of the epicardial radius, whereas the 3 short-axis planes rotated differently (basal: 3.3°; mid: -1° and apical: -4.6°) to create a twisting motion. While systolic contraction showed clear correspondence to infarct transmurality, rotation was nonspecific to either infarct location or transmurality but could indicate the presence of functional abnormality. Regional contraction and rotation derived using this model could potentially aid in the assessment of severity of regional dysfunction of infarcted myocardium. © 2015 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.