Hyperglycemia upon hospital admission in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) occurs frequently and is associated with adverse outcomes. It is, however, unsettled as to whether an elevated blood glucose level is the cause or consequence of increased myocardial damage. In addition, whether the cardioprotective effect of exenatide, a glucose-lowering drug, is dependent on hyperglycemia remains unknown. The objectives of this substudy were to evaluate the association between hyperglycemia and infarct size, myocardial salvage, and area at risk, and to assess the interaction between exenatide and hyperglycemia. A total of 210 STEMI patients were randomized to receive intravenous exenatide or placebo before percutaneous coronary intervention. Hyperglycemia was associated with larger area at risk and infarct size compared with patients with normoglycemia, but the salvage index and infarct size adjusting for area at risk did not differ between the groups. Treatment with exenatide resulted in increased salvage index both among patients with normoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Thus, we conclude that the association between hyperglycemia upon hospital admission and infarct size in STEMI patients is a consequence of a larger myocardial area at risk but not of a reduction in myocardial salvage. Also, cardioprotection by exenatide treatment is independent of glucose levels at hospital admission. Thus, hyperglycemia does not influence the effect of the reperfusion treatment but rather represents a surrogate marker for the severity of risk and injury to the myocardium.