Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine predictors of successful coronary angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction (MI) and associated predictors of the major complications of in-hospital mortality and emergency coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Background. Primary angioplasty is being increasingly used to treat acute MI, but factors affecting the success and major complications have not been well studied. Forty laboratories have been contributing clinical and procedural data to the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCA and I) on primary angioplasty for acute MI. Methods. Univariable and stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis of clinical and procedural variables was used to calculate predictors of success and major complications. Results. There were 4,366 primary angioplasty procedures reported from 1990 through 1994, with an overall success rate of 91.5%, an in-hospital mortality rate of 2.5% and a rate of emergency surgery of 4.3%. Higher laboratory primary angioplasty volume and lower age were predictive of success. An intraaortic balloon pump in place, cardiogenic shock and a moribund condition had negative predictive effects. Unsuccessful angioplasty, cardiogenic shock or a moribund state were predictive of in-hospital death. Unsuccessful angioplasty, the absence of a history of hypertension and the absence of congestive heart failure were predictive of emergency surgery. Conclusions. The rates of success and major complications in the SCA and I Registry are similar to other series. Predictors of success and major complications can be assessed and may be useful for risk stratifying candidates for primary angioplasty in acute MI.