Stem cell therapy is a promising tool to improve outcome after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but needs to be optimized since results from clinical applications remain ambiguous. A potent source of stem cells is the stromal vascular fraction of adipose tissue (SVF), which contains high numbers of adipose derived stem cells (ASC). We hypothesized that: 1) intravenous injection can be used to apply stem cells to the heart. 2) Uncultured SVF cells are easier and safer when cultured ASCs. 3) Transplantation after the acute inflammation period of AMI is favorable over early injection. For this, AMI was induced in rats by 40min of coronary occlusion. One or seven days after AMI, rats were intravenously injected with vehicle, 5×10(6) uncultured rat SVF cells or 1×10(6) rat ASCs. Rats were analyzed 35 days after AMI. Intravenous delivery of both fresh SVF cells and cultured ASCs 7 days after AMI significantly reduced infarct size compared to vehicle. Similar numbers of stem cells were found in the heart, after treatment with fresh SVF cells and cultured ASCs. Importantly, no adverse effects were found after injection of SVF cells. Using cultured ASCs, however, 3 animals had shortness of breath, and one animal died during injection. In contrast to application at 7 days post AMI, injection of SVF cells 1 day post AMI resulted in a small but non-significant infarct reduction (p=0.35). Taken together, intravenous injection of uncultured SVF cells subsequent to the acute inflammation period, is a promising stem cell therapy for AMI.