Some patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) develop further ST elevation at reperfusion by percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). This study reports the ST deviation at reperfusion by direct PTCA in relation to the clinical factors and the recovery of left ventricular (LV) systolic function. Fifty-two patients with anterior wall AMI were treated with direct PTCA. They were classified into the following 3 groups according to the change in ST elevation at reperfusion: increase of > or = 20% (ST reelevation); reduction of > or = 20% (ST resolution); and the other (ST no change). Angina pectoris preceding AMI occurred less often in the ST reelevation group (ST reelevation group, 38%; ST no change group, 81%; ST resolution group, 70%; p < 0.05). Recovery of LV ejection fraction during the first month after direct PTCA was significantly poor in the ST reelevation group in contrast to the ST resolution group (ST reelevation group, -6.3 +/- 13%; ST no change group, 18 +/- 20%; ST resolution group, 45 +/- 29%; p < 0.0001). The change in ST elevation at reperfusion was an index predicting the recovery of LV systolic function in the reperfusion by direct PTCA.