Bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) have been used to treat patient with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) via intracoronary route. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the short-term efficacy and safety of this modality. Seventeen randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of BMSC-based therapy for STEMI, delivered with 9 days of reperfusion and followed up shorter than 12 months, were identified by systematic review. Intracoronary BMSC therapy resulted in an overall significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) by 2.74 % (95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.09–3.39, P < 0.00001, I2 = 84 %) at 3–6-month follow-up and 5.1 % (95 % CI 4.16–6.03, P < 0.00001 and I2 = 85 %) at 12 months. The left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV) and wall motion score index (WMSI) were also reduced at 3–6 months. At 12 months, left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), LVESV, and WMSI were significantly reduced in BMSC group. In conclusion, intracoronary BMSC therapy at post-STEMI is safe and effective in patient with acute STEMI.