Recombinant single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator was intravenously administered in 2 different doses in 24 patients with acute myocardial infarction and angiographically proved occlusion of the infarct-related artery. Patients with first infarction without contraindications of thrombolysis were treated within the first 4 hours after the onset of symptoms. Group A (12 patients) received 20 mg of rscu-PA as a bolus followed by 60 mg infused over 1 hour and group B received 10 mg as a bolus and 30 mg as infusion. The 2 groups showed no significant difference in age, sex, height, weight, time between onset of symptoms and start of therapy, peak values and course of infarct-related enzymes. Time to reperfusion was 43 minutes in group A versus 67 minutes in group B (p less than 0.005). The rate of reperfusion 90 minutes after start of treatment was 91% in group A and 50% in group B (p less than 0.001). Plasma levels of fibrinogen, plasminogen and alpha-2-antiplasmin did not differ significantly in both groups. Systemic lytic state (fibrinogen less than 100 mg/dl) occurred in 33% of group A and in 9% of group B. Intravenous infusion of 80 mg (but not 40 mg) of rscu-PA led to reperfusion of the occluded coronary artery in nearly all patients. Approximately one-third of the patients treated with this dose demonstrated systemic lysis.