We explore the feasibility of using combined fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to characterize a myocardial infarct at different developing stages. An animal study is conducted using rats with surgically induced myocaridal infarction (MI). In vivo fluorescence spectra at 337-nm excitation and diffuse reflectance between 400 and 900 nm are measured from the heart. Spectral acquisition is performed: 1. for normal heart tissue; 2. for the area immediately surrounding the infarct; and 3. for the infarcted tissue itself, one, two, three, and four weeks into MI development. Histological and statistical analyses are used to identify unique pathohistological features and spectral alterations associated with the investigated regions. The main alterations (p<0.05) in diffuse reflectance spectra are identified primarily between 450 and 600 nm. The dominant fluorescence alterations are increases in peak fluorescence intensity at 400 and 460 nm. The extent of these spectral alterations is related to the duration of the infarction. The findings of this study support the concept that optical spectroscopy could be useful as a tool to noninvasively determine the in vivo pathophysiological features of a myocardial infarct and its surrounding tissue, thereby providing real-time feedback to surgeons during various surgical interventions for MI.