Reperfusion therapy has been clearly shown to decrease the early mortality after acute myocardial infarction, but the impact of this therapy on long-term survival has been less extensively evaluated. This study reports the extended follow-up of a large cohort of 810 patients treated with intravenous thrombolytic therapy combined, when considered necessary to maintain or augment infarct vessel patency, with mechanical reperfusion therapies. Each patient underwent coronary angiography within 2 hours of the initiation of the thrombolytic infusion. Coronary angioplasty was performed in 62% of the patients before hospital discharge and 21% underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Follow-up was obtained in 96% to a mean of 18.8 months (range, 1.5 to 48 months). All-cause mortality over this period was 3.3%; 2.1% died from cardiac causes. Nonfatal reinfarction occurred in 5.1%. Although the low event rate limits the validity of statistical comparisons, the patients who survived the follow-up period tended to be younger (56 +/- 10 vs 65 +/- 7 years), to have better predischarge left ventricular function (left ventricular ejection fraction, 52 +/- 11 vs 46 +/- 13%) and to have a lower prevalence of multivessel coronary artery disease (45 vs 67%). This excellent long-term survival may, in part, reflect the exclusion of high-risk patients from enrollment in the Thrombolysis and Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction (TAMI) studies. It may also be attributable, however, to the frequent use of combined thrombolysis and mechanical revascularization in this population.