Forty-five patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction were examined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging before and serially up to 30 minutes after intravenous injection of gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA), 0.1 mmol/kg of body weight. Coronary angiography after thrombolytic therapy was performed in all patients to assess reperfusion. Intensity ratios between both reperfused and nonreperfused infarcted areas and normal myocardium increased significantly up to 15-20 minutes after administration of Gd-DTPA and were still elevated 30 minutes after injection (P < .0001). In accordance with the findings in experimental studies, four distribution patterns of infarct enhancement were observed. The overlap in enhancement patterns and similar maximal intensity ratios after Gd-DTPA administration for both reperfused and nonreperfused infarcts preclude a reliable differentiation on the basis of these factors alone. Significant enhancement of both reperfused and nonreperfused infarcts allows adequate infarct imaging up to at least 30 minutes after administration of Gd-DTPA.