A portable apparatus for the continuous hypothermic perfusion of the isolated heart is described. The system has been used successfully to store pig and baboon hearts for periods of up to 48 hr, and to store human donor hearts for periods of 7 to 17 hr before being transplanted. The perfusate is both oxygenated and circulated by gas flow from a pressurized oxygen cylinder, using the air-lift pump principle. The apparatus has no moving parts and requires no electrical energy supply; malfunction is, therefore, extremely unlikely. A regulator has been incorporated which can be adjusted to increase or decrease the myocardial perfusion pressure. The system and environmental variables which can affect flow and pressure within the apparatus are discussed. The storage time allowed by this system will enable transportation of donor hearts between most of the world's major cities. © 1985.