To evaluate the long-term effects of reperfusion with tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and an aggressive strategy of revascularization with angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting, we obtained 1-year follow-up results from 386 consecutive patients enrolled in the Thrombolysis and Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction (TAMI I) trial. All patients were treated with 100 to 150 mg of t-PA intravenously over 6 to 8 hours, and coronary angiography was performed within 90 minutes of initiation of therapy. In 197 patients with suitable anatomic characteristics, angioplasty was either performed immediately or was deferred for 7 to 10 days on a randomized basis. The remainder of the patients were treated as considered clinically appropriate. The in-hospital mortality rate was 7%, and only 1.9% of patients died in the first year after discharge from the hospital; three patients died of cardiac events and four died of noncardiac causes. Ninety-four percent of patients discharged alive from the hospital remained alive and had no myocardial infarctions during the first 12 posthospital months. Revascularization procedures after discharge from the hospital included angioplasty in 8% of patients and coronary artery bypass grafting in 5%. The high survival rates were evident in high-risk groups defined by age, ejection fraction, and extent of coronary artery disease. At 1-year follow-up 64% of patients less than 65 years of age were employed and only 10% reported that they were disabled; 94% of patients were in Canadian Heart Association class I or II. These low rates of follow-up events suggest a change in the "natural history" of the first year after acute myocardial infarction.