This study was aimed to understand the mechanism of persistent cardiac myocyte (CM) survival in myocardial infarction (MI) scars. A transmural MI was induced in 12-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats by permanent coronary artery ligation. The hearts were collected 3 days, 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after MI and evaluated with histology, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative morphometry. Vasculature patency was assessed in 4-, 8-, and 12-week-old scars by infusion of 15-micron microspheres into the left ventricle before euthanasia. The infarcted/scarred area has a small continually retained population of surviving CMs in subendocardial and subepicardial regions. Surprisingly, whereas the transverse area of subepicardial CMs remained relatively preserved or even enlarged over 12 post-MI weeks, subendocardial CMs underwent progressive atrophy. Nevertheless, the fractional volume of viable CMs remained comparable in mature scars 4, 8, and 12 weeks after MI (3.6 ± 0.4%, 3.4 ± 0.5%, and 2.5 ± 0.3%, respectively). Despite the opposite dynamics of changes in size, CMs of both regions displayed sarcomeres and gap junctions. Most importantly, surviving CMs were always accompanied by patent microvessels linked to a venous network composed of Thebesian veins, intramural sinusoids, and subepicardial veins. Our findings reveal that long-term survival of CMs in transmural post-MI scars is sustained by a local microcirculatory bed.