The very early handling of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is of critical importance to the outcome. The aim of this study was to relate the dispatcher's initial suspicion of AMI, among patients who call for an ambulance due to chest pain, to the subsequent diagnosis and outcome. All patients who called for an ambulance in Gothenburg due to acute chest pain during a 2-month period were included in the study. In all, 503 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and information on the dispatcher's initial suspicion of AMI was available in 484 patients. There was at least a strong suspicion of AMI in 36%, a moderate suspicion of AMI in 34% and only a vague or no suspicion in 30%. Among patients with at least a strong suspicion of AMI, 29% subsequently developed infarcation, compared with 18% among patients with a moderate suspicion of AMI and 15% among patients with only a vague or no suspicion (p < 0.001). However, the priority level was similar in patients with and without a life-threatening condition, and the mortality rate remained similar in patients with a strong suspicion and those without a strong suspicion of AMI. Thus, among patients who called for an ambulance due to acute chest pain there was a direct relationship between the dispatcher's suspicion of AMI and the subsequent diagnosis, but the mortality rate was similar in the different groups.