Many patients undergoing cardiac surgery have some degree of myocardial hypertrophy. To assess the response of hypertrophied myocardium to simulated cardiac surgery, left ventricular hypertrophy was induced in rats by aortic banding, and ventricular function was measured by means of the isolated, isovolumic heart perfusion technique. The hypertrophied hearts had a greater susceptibility to ischemic injury than nonhypertrophied control hearts, as manifested by a greater degree of diastolic contracture during the recovery period after 30 minutes of ischemic arrest at 37°C. Hypothermia without cardioplegia during a 2-hour arrest did not completely preserve diastolic function in the hypertrophied hearts, but cardioplegia combined with hypothermia completely protected the hypertrophied hearts against 2 hours of ischemia. The results suggest a need for both hypothermic and cardioplegic preservation techniques in patients with myocardial hypertrophy who have cardiac surgical procedures requiring a significant period of myocardial ischemia. © 1985.