To investigate the possibility of predicting the occurrence of spontaneous coronary reperfusion in acute myocardial infarction we studied 91 patients in a randomized trial on the clinical efficacy of intracoronary streptokinase compared to conventional treatment. Of the 46 patients treated conventionally 40 had catheterization 6 weeks after the infarction. Spontaneous coronary reperfusion was found in 19 patients (48%). The time to peak CK-MB in these patients was considerably longer than in patients with streptokinase-induced coronary reperfusion and similar to the time in patients without spontaneous coronary reperfusion. Spontaneous coronary reperfusion was associated with a relative improvement of radionuclide ejection fraction from day 1 to day 14 after admission. There was no difference in the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmia or recurrent ischaemic events between the patients with and those without spontaneous coronary reperfusion. Thus, spontaneous coronary reperfusion is not uncommon in traditionally treated myocardial infarction, but its occurrence cannot be predicted by enzymatic or clinical parameters.