Prognostic factors in patients with acute myocardial infarction based on clinical and investigative data on admission were evaluated prospectively in 111 consecutive patients. Seventeen patients (15.3%) died during hospital stay. Age, a previous infarct, high Killip class, cardiomegaly, high serum concentrations of cardiac enzymes, a low ejection fraction, and a high wall motion score index correlated significantly with in-hospital mortality; whereas sex, risk factors, and pericardial effusion did not. Multivariate analysis showed that age and the wall motion score index were the best predictors of death in hospital. Wall motion detected by cross sectional echocardiography may reflect the extent of myocardial involvement. Age and wall motion score index predicted in-hospital mortality with a sensitivity of 76.5%, a specificity of 91.5%, and a predictive accuracy of 89.2%. Age and the wall motion score index can be determined on admission and are useful for identifying patients at high risk of cardiac death who might benefit from early intervention.