To observe the clinical course after reperfusion and recovery from myocardial stunning of the left ventricular anterior wall, we prospectively reviewed and analyzed cardiac enzymes, ECG changes, echocardiograms, and cineangiograms in 8 patients with the acute ischemic syndrome who fulfilled the following criteria: 1) no history of previous myocardial infarction, 2) repeated and/or prolonged episodes of chest pain, 3) critical stenosis of the left anterior descending artery with wall motion abnormalities, 4) successful emergency percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and 5) normal wall motion on repeat cineangiography 4 to 8 weeks later. Creatine kinase (CK) and/or its cardiac isoenzyme (CK-MB) were minimally elevated in all cases. Wall motion was normalized with the reduction of end-systolic volume (end-diastolic volume: from 139 +/- 25 to 140 +/- 37 ml, ns, end-systolic volume: from 68 +/- 16 to 39 +/- 13 ml, p < 0.001, ejection fraction: from 51 +/- 6 to 71 +/- 6%, p < 0.001). Serial echocardiograms showed normalization of wall motion within 4 to 28 days. T wave inversion in the left precordial leads developed 30 min to 5 hours after the cessation of chest pain or successful reperfusion, and prominent negative T waves (1.6 +/- 0.6 mV) with QT prolongation (0.56 +/- 0.08 sec) in V3 or V4 reached their peak values within one to 5 days. ECG abnormalities resolved after 21 to 95 days. These ECG findings may indicate reperfusion injury and the presence of myocardial stunning in the anterior wall of the left ventricle.