Systemic arterial properties and left ventricular function were assessed by Doppler echocardiography and a calibrated subclavian artery pulse tracing early (5 weeks) and late (27 months) after a first acute myocardial infarction in 19 patients aged 44-77 years and in healthy subjects matched for age, gender, and arterial blood pressure. Total arterial compliance (3-element windkessel model) was reduced by 26% (p < 0.001) from early to late assessment, and left-ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes were increased by 11 and 18%, respectively (p < 0.05). Peripheral resistance and characteristic impedance were not significantly changed. The healthy matched subjects had arterial compliance similar to patients at early assessment, but tended to be higher at late. Thus, 2.3 years after a first acute myocardial infarction with moderate left ventricular dilatation, arterial distensibility was significantly decreased whereas peripheral resistance was not changed.