Abstract In an evaluation of the role of coronary collaterals in the early period of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), 30 patients with acute total coronary occlusion treated with intracoronary thrombolysis 2 to 8 hours after the onset of symptoms were studied. Only 13 patients with well-developed collaterals in the early period of AMI and successful thrombolysis showed improvement of global and regional ejection fraction (EF) from the acute phase to the chronic phase (global EF from 50% to 71%, p < 0.001; regional EF from 25.4% to 49.2%, p < 0.001). In patients with no or less well-developed collaterals and successful thrombolysis, global and regional EF were similar to those in patients in whom thrombolysis was unsuccessful. Among the 19 patients with successful thrombolysis, there was no significant correlation between the duration of ischemia and the improvement of regional EF (r = −0.03, difference not significant). These data suggest that the extent of coronary collateral vessels in the early period of AMI is an important determinant of restoration of left ventricular function after intracoronary thrombolysis.