The AngioJet thrombectomy catheter removes thrombi by rheolytic fragmentation and suction. The purpose of this study was to identify the efficacy and safety of this new device. Myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with intracoronary thrombus. Intracoronary thrombus has been identified as a risk factor of unfavorable outcome after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. To what extent the AngioJet is applicable or effective for acute or recent MI in native coronary artery is not clear. Thrombectomy with the AngioJet was attempted in 31 patients with 31 native coronary arteries selected from 304 patients with acute or recent MI. Follow-up angiography was performed at 3 to 6 months. Procedure success was achieved in 29 patients (94%). Adjunctive balloon angioplasty was performed after AngioJet thrombectomy in 30 patients (97%), and in only 1 patient (3%) AngioJet thrombectomy was the sole procedure. Subsequent stenting after balloon angioplasty was attempted successfully in 12 patients (40%) without thrombotic complications. Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction trial flow grading increased from 0.70 +/- 0.97 before to 2.61 +/- 0.88 after AngioJet thrombectomy (p <0.0001), to 2.84 +/- 0.64 after adjunctive procedures (p = 0.070). At follow-up angiography restenosis rate was 21% but Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow 3 was present in all patients. The restenosis rate of stented patients was 8%. There were no major events during in-hospital and follow-up. The AngioJet can be used safely and successfully to remove thrombus from the native coronary artery of patients with MI. Thrombus removal makes subsequent stenting safe and uncomplicated. The restenosis rate was considered to be acceptable.