In order to determine the relationship of paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia (PVT) to any antecedent (premonitory) ventricular arrhythmias during the early phases of acute myocardial infarction, 24-hour Holter monitoring was begun on 52 male patients an average of 12.6 hours after the onset of prolonged chest pain that was documented as acute infarction. Twenty-four patients had PVT and 28 did not. We analyzed in detail the incidence of frequency of premature ventricular complexes (PVCs), prematurity and pairing during the 10 minutes immediately preceding PVT from a continuous 10-minute rhythm strip. There was no positive correlation between PVT and the number or complexity of PVCs in the 10 minutes immediately before ventricular tachycardia. These findings suggest that there is no consistent pattern or frequency of ventricular arrhythmia that could be identified as premonitory for PVT during the immediate pre-PVT period, even during the acute phase of myocardial infarction in man.