Background: Changes in stress and tissue material properties have been proposed as important mechanical factors that may influence infarct expansion and subsequent healing. Because such changes will be reflected by alterations in the finite deformation of the tissue, we examined the direction and magnitude of myocardial deformation after coronary ligation in the pig. Methods and Results: Gold beads were implanted in the left ventricular free wall of five pigs. After ligation of the coronary supply to the region containing the markers, we used biplane cineradiography to reconstruct the three-dimensional deformations of the myocardium during single cardiac cycles as well as the remodeling deformations that occurred over time. Deformations were studied at 1 and 3 weeks after infarction. The analysis of single cardiac cycles revealed permanent loss of systolic shortening immediately after ligation. However, significant passive systolic wall thickening (P<.001) and large shears were observed at 3 weeks in regions composed almost entirely of collagen. The analysis of remodeling deformations at 1 week revealed infarct expansion with a predominant axis that varied widely. At 3 weeks, a 30% to 60% reduction in local tissue volume was measured in the infarct region, with the principal direction of scar shrinkage nearly circumferential in all animals (range, -2° to 35°). Conclusions: We conclude that infarct expansion and scar shrinkage may be controlled by different factors. In addition, we conclude that measurement of systolic wall thickening alone is not always adequate to assess postinfarction regional contractile function.