The Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group is investigating whether percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or intravenous beta-receptor blockers, or both, are useful adjuncts to recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) in the treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction (TIMI II study). A total of 317 patients with acute myocardial infarction were treated an average of 2.7 hours after the onset of chest pain during the course of a nonrandomized pilot investigation with 150 mg of rt-PA given over 6 hours. This dose of rt-PA resulted in a high rate of infarct-related coronary artery patency (82 and 87% of patients catheterized an average of either 1 or 32 hours after entry, respectively) and a low 21 day mortality rate of 4.4%. Coronary angioplasty was performed successfully in >90% of patients with appropriate anatomy and in >50% of those treated with rt-PA. In 75 patients treated within 2 hours of the onset of chest pain only 2 (2.7%) were dead by 6 weeks. However, five cases of intracranial hemorrhage were noted, and the rt-PA dose was subsequently reduced to 100 mg given over 6 hours. The TIMI II design and the results of the TIMI II pilot study are discussed.