Scar tissue size following myocardial infarction is an independent predictor of cardiovascular outcomes, yet little is known about factors regulating scar size. We demonstrate that collagen V, a minor constituent of heart scars, regulates the size of heart scars after ischemic injury. Depletion of collagen V led to a paradoxical increase in post-infarction scar size with worsening of heart function. A systems genetics approach across 100 in-bred strains of mice demonstrated that collagen V is a critical driver of postinjury heart function. We show that collagen V deficiency alters the mechanical properties of scar tissue, and altered reciprocal feedback between matrix and cells induces...