SUMMARY Serial 72-point precordial mapping of the ECG has been recorded to describe the natural history of changes in the precordial areas of ST segment elevation and the development of Q waves in 51 patients with acute uncomplicated anterior myocardial infarction. Eight patients have been studied in the same way but received 25 mg/kg of methylprednisolone sodium succinate as a single intravenous injection within 6 hours from the onset of chest pain. There was a linear relationship between the stable precordial area of Q waves at 24 hours and the rapidly changing precordial areas of ST segment elevation at 2-3 hours, 5-6 hours and 12 hours after the onset of pain in the untreated patients. When methylprednisolone was given, the treated patients developed a smaller precordial area of Q waves at 24 hours than was predicted from the precordial area of ST elevation recorded before the drug was given. This study has introduced a technique that can provide a qualitative assessment of the relationship between ECG evidence of ischemia and infarction in each patient.