In order to critically evaluate the utility of a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI) for therapeutic studies, we investigated survival, haemodynamic measurements and histopathology in mice with an occluding suture placed at one of three distinct sites along the left anterior descending coronary artery. The suture was placed at the atrioventricular juncture (High), or at two sites more distally towards the base (Middle and Low). In the High group, only 33% of animals survived 7 days after MI (P < 0.05 compared to all other groups). Only the Middle group had significantly reduced haemodynamics compared to sham-operated animals (maximum left ventricular pressure: 55.9 ± 3.5 versus 80.8 ± 5.1 mmHg, maximum change in pressure over time: 2003 ± 172 versus 4402 ± 491, P < 0.01). Histological examination showed morphological changes in all MI groups. The Middle group had larger lesions than the Low group (P < 0.05). Lesions in the anterior and lateral walls correlated, albeit weakly, with cardiac function. Power calculations indicated that, despite a certain amount of intragroup variation, the Middle Suture model may be useful for therapeutic studies to assess the effects of treatment on cardiac function and overall lesion size.