This study was undertaken to assess the effect of a first myocardial infarction (MI) on the systolic and diastolic velocity profiles of the mitral annulus determined by pulsed wave Doppler tissue imaging and thereby evaluate left ventricular (LV) function after MI. Seventy-eight patients with a first MI were examined before discharge. Peak systolic, peak early diastolic, and peak late diastolic velocities were recorded at 4 different sites on the mitral annulus corresponding to the septum, anterior, lateral, and inferior sites of the left ventricle. In addition, the amplitude of mitral annular motion at the 4 above LV sites, the ejection fraction, and conventional Doppler diastolic parameters were recorded. Nineteen age-matched healthy subjects served as controls. Compared with healthy subjects, the MI patients had a significantly reduced peak systolic velocity at the mitral annulus, especially at the infarction sites. A relatively good linear correlation was found between the ejection fraction and the mean systolic velocity from the 4 LV sites (r = 0.74, P <.001). The correlation was also good when the mean peak systolic mitral annular velocity was tested against the magnitude of the mean mitral annular motion (r = 0.77, P <.001). When the patients were divided into 2 different groups with respect to an ejection fraction > or =0.50 or <0.50, a cutoff point of mean systolic mitral annular velocity of > or =7.5 cm/s had a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 88% in predicting a preserved global LV systolic function. Similar to systolic velocities, the early diastolic velocity was also reduced, especially at the infarction sites. The peak mitral annular early diastolic velocity correlated well with both LV ejection fraction (r =.66, P <.001) and mean systolic mitral annular motion (r = 0.68, P <.001). However, no correlation existed between the early diastolic velocity and conventional diastolic Doppler parameters. The reduced peak systolic mitral annular velocity seems to be an expression of regionally reduced systolic function. The peak early diastolic velocity is also reduced, especially at the infarction sites, and reflects regional diastolic dysfunction. Thus, quantification of myocardial velocity by Doppler tissue imaging opens up a new possibility of assessing LV function along its long axis.