In patients with chronic coronary artery disease, preservation of myocardlal oxidative metabolism measured by positron emission tomography (PET) with 11C-acetate is a more accurate predictor of subsequent myocardial functional recovery than is maintenance of glucose metabolism estimated with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose. However, whether measurements of myocardial oxidative metabolism are more accurate than measurements of glucose metabolism in predicting functional recovery in patients with recent myocardial infarction is unknown. Myocardial oxidative metabolism was measured within 10 days of infarction in 19 patients by analysis of the rate of myocardial clearance of 11C-acetate. Metabolism of glucose was assessed by analysis of the uptake of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose. Criteria for prediction of the recovery of Function based on measurements of oxidative metabolism and glucose metabolism were compared. Threshold criteria with 11C-acetate exhibited superior positive and negative predictive values (89% and 73%, respectively) compared with the criteria of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (65% and 57%, respectively) (p <0.025). In addition, the magnitude of functional recovery after revascularization correlated with the severity of the metabolic abnormality present initially. In patients with recent myocardial infarction, the extent of functional recovery can be predicted accurately by measurement of regional oxidative metabolism by PET with 11C-acetate, and these measurements are superior to those of 18-fluorodeoxyglucose.