OBJECTIVES: To evaluate clinical reinfarction during a 3-year follow-up after randomization to primary angioplasty versus fibrinolysis in anterior and non-anterior ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). METHODS: Clinical reinfarction was prospectively assessed by an endpoint committee blinded to the study treatment. RESULTS: At 30 days, primary angioplasty compared with fibrinolysis reduced the reinfarction rate both in anterior STEMI patients (n = 823; 2.5 vs. 5.6%, p = 0.02) and in non-anterior STEMI patients (n = 743; 0.8 vs. 7.4%, p or =2 [HR = 1.42 (1.01-2.00)]. The additional late reinfarctions after angioplasty for anterior STEMI were located within the angioplasty-treated target segment. Anterior STEMI patients had smaller mean target vessel diameter, which was associated with reinfarction. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical reinfarction is an independent predictor of death. The early superiority of primary angioplasty over fibrinolysis on reinfarction rate after anterior STEMI diminished during long-term follow-up.