The magnitude and time course of myoglobin release from the myocardium following infarction was assessed by radioimmunoassay. The assay showed acceptable precision over a working range from 50 to 750 ng cm/sup -3/, provided careful control of the assay temperature was maintained. The use of this radioimmunoassay as an early diagnostic test for infarction and as a potential measure of the extent of necrosis is considered and comparison made with the release of CK-MB, the myocardial specific isoenzyme of creatine kinase. Of the twenty patients studied with myocardial infarction, all had elevated levels of serum myoglobin including those admitted within 3 hours of the onset of pain. In contrast, CK-MB was not detected in the serum within 5 hours of the onset of pain. Peak serum levels of myoglobin (mean 852 +- 365 ng cm/sup -3/) and CK-MB (mean 71 +- 25 mIU cm/sup -3/) were detected at 8-16 hours and 20-24 hours respectively after the onset of pain. A comparison of peak serum levels of myoglobin and CK-MB showed a good correlation (r = 0.84).