Abstract Visfatin is a cytokine that is expressed in many tissues, including the heart, and has been proposed to play a role in plaque destabilization leading to acute myocardial injury. The present study evaluates plasma levels of visfatin in acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients and examines the temporal changes in visfatin levels from the acute period to the subacute period to determine a correlation with the degree of myocardial ischemia. We evaluated 54 patients with STEMI. Circulating levels of visfatin and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were measured by ELISA. In addition, local expression of visfatin and BNP were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of left ventricular myocytes in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI). Plasma levels of visfatin were significantly increased in patients with STEMI on admission, relative to controls (effort angina patients and individuals without coronary artery disease). The visfatin levels reached a peak 24h after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and then decreased toward the control range during the first week after PCI. The basal plasma visfatin levels were found to correlate with peak troponin-I, peak creatine kinase-MB, total white blood cell count, and BNP levels. Trend analyses confirmed that visfatin levels correlated with the number of diseased coronary arteries. Further, in MI mice, mRNA levels of visfatin and BNP were found to be higher than in sham-treated mice. IHC analysis showed that visfatin and BNP immunoreactivity was diffusely observable in left ventricular myocytes of the MI mice. This study indicates that plasma visfatin levels are significantly higher in STEMI patients and that these higher visfatin levels correlate with elevated levels of cardiac enzymes, suggesting that increased plasma visfatin may be closely related to the degree of myocardial damage.