The aim of this study was to investigate if acute myocardial infarction can be detected by post-mortem cardiac magnetic resonance (PMMR) at an earlier stage than by traditional autopsy, i.e., within less than 4Â h after onset of ischemia; and if so, to determine the characteristics of PMMR findings in early acute infarcts. Twenty-one ex vivo porcine hearts with acute myocardial infarction underwent T2-weighted cardiac PMMR imaging within 3 h of onset of iatrogenic ischemia. PMMR imaging findings were compared to macroscopic findings. Myocardial edema induced by ischemia and reperfusion was visible on PMMR in all cases. Typical findings of early acute ischemic injury on PMMR consist of a central zone of intermediate signal intensity bordered by a rim of increased signal intensity. Myocardial edema can be detected on cardiac PMMR within the first 3Â h after the onset of ischemia in porcine hearts. The size of myocardial edema reflects the area of ischemic injury in early acute (per-acute) myocardial infarction. This study provides evidence that cardiac PMMR is able to detect acute myocardial infarcts at an earlier stage than traditional autopsy and routine histology. Â© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.