Clinical assessment of patients with evolving acute myocardial infarction may suggest recanalization of the infarct coronary artery if chest pain, electrocardiographic ST-segment elevation and reperfusion arrhythmia are diminished. These 3 criteria, however, have not been correlated with immediate coronary angiography. Determination of which patients will achieve myocardial reperfusion after intravenous fibrinolytic therapy would allow for appropriate triage; those in whom it fails may be considered for mechanical or surgical recanalization. Fifty-six patients were studied: 28 received intravenous streptokinase and 28 intravenous recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator. None of these clinical criteria, considered separately, was predictive of infarct artery recanalization status. Using the presence or absence of all 3 criteria, the specificity and predictive value increased to 100%. However, only 9% of patients in the series had all 3 criteria present (all had a patent infarct artery) and 34% had no criteria present (all had an occluded vessel). Noninvasive clinical markers are simple and practical, but only concordance of all 3 major criteria, when present, accurately predicts results of thrombolytic therapy.