A quality of life ancillary study was incorporated into the Survival and Ventricular Enlargement (SAVE) trial of captopril versus placebo among patients who survived an acute myocardial infarction with compromised ventricular functioning, but no overt heart failure. Assessments included patient symptoms, health perceptions, emotional, cognitive, social and sexual levels of functioning, as well as potential covariates, such as life events and social support. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the quality of life measures in the SAVE at baseline, and provide a pre-randomization profile of the SAVE patients. One hundred and eighty-four patients participated in this aspect of the trial. Reliability alpha coefficients were adequate or better for all questionnaires, except for life events and sexual activities. Consistent with prior studies, the quality of life parameters were uncorrelated with ventricular ejection fraction. Despite experiencing a recent myocardial infarction with compromised ventricular functioning, patients at baseline generally neither appeared depressed nor focused on symptoms. The baseline findings support the inclusion of the quality of life ancillary study in the overall SAVE trial because of the independent contribution likely to be achieved in terms of evaluating both disease progression and treatment efficacy.