In the conservative strategy arm of phase II of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) trial, 1,461 patients were treated with intravenous recombinant tissuetype plasminogen activator (rt-PA). Coronary angiography, with angioplasty if feasible, was to be performed only for recurrent spontaneous or exercise-induced ischemia. In this study results in patients treated by this strategy in community and tertiary hospitals are compared. Despite similar baseline findings in the two groups, coronary angiography was performed within 42 days in more patients (542 [48%] of 1,155) initially admitted to a tertiary hospital (on-site coronary angiography/angioplasty available) than in those (94 [32%] of 306) admitted to a community hospital (transfer to tertiary hospital for coronary angiography/angioplasty) (p < 0.001). This different approach resulted in a greater use of coronary angioplasty (203 [18%] of 1,155 versus 32 [11%] of 306, p < 0.01), coronary artery bypass surgery (133 [12%] of 1,155 versus 23 [8%] of 306, p < 0.05) and blood transfusions (139 [12%] of 1,155 versus 17 [5.5%] of 306, p < 0.001) in patients admitted to a tertiary than to a community hospital. However, there were no significant differences between the two groups in mortality, recurrent myocardial infarction or left ventricular function. These results demonstrate that a conservative strategy after treatment of acute myocardial infarction with rt-PA is applicable in the community hospital setting.