Aims Unrecognized myocardial scar by late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is strongly associated with cardiac event in patients with stable coronary artery disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of unrecognized non-infarct-related LGE (non-IR-LGE) in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Methods and results We studied 269 patients with a first clinical episode of AMI underwent cardiac MRI within 6 weeks after onset (209 men; age, 66 ± 12 years). LGE, cine MRI and T2-weighted imaging were obtained to evaluate the presence and extent of LGE and to evaluate cardiac function. Major adverse cardiac events (MACE) were defined as cardiovascular death, non-fatal AMI, unstable angina requiring revascularization, fatal arrhythmia, and heart failure. Unrecognized non-IR LGE was observed in 13.0% of patients. During follow-up periods (median, 22 months; range, 3-95 months), 8.9% of patients experienced MACE in this study. In addition, 22.9% of patients with unrecognized non-IR LGE and 6.8% of patients without unrecognized non-IR-LGE experienced MACE (P < 0.01). The presence of unrecognized non-IR LGE predicted MACE with a hazard ratio of 3.45 (95% confidential interval, 1.03-11.47; P < 0.01). In addition, unrecognized non-IR LGE was the strongest independent predictors of MACE with a hazard ratio of 3.30 by the Cox proportional hazards model (P < 0.01). In contrast, angiography-proven multi-vessel disease and transmural extent of infarct-related LGE were not independently associated with MACE. Conclusion Among patients with a first clinical episode of AMI, unrecognized non-IR myocardial scar provides incremental prognostic value for predicting MACE beyond that of common clinical, angiographic and functional variables.