The clinical features of acute non-Q wave myocardial infarction (NQMI) with R wave regression and no ST segment depression are distinct from those of acute Q wave myocardial infarction (QMI). NQMI patients showed ST segment elevation at admission, and significantly earlier regression of the ST segment elevation and appearance of coronary T waves were observed compared to QMI patients. In addition to the significantly lower level of mean peak serum creatine kinase activity and the significantly lower incidence of pump failure during the acute phase, the incidences of in-hospital mortality and multivessel disease were significantly lower in the NQMI patients. With respect to acute-phase coronary angiographic features within 48 h after the onset, the rate of spontaneous opening of infarct-related vessels was significantly higher in the NQMI patients. Thirteen of the 19 NQMI patients responded to urokinase infusion. These facts suggest that transient, intermittent or incomplete obstruction may favor this type of NQMI over QMI, and that thrombus might be an important factor in the pathogenesis of this type of NQMI.