The application of one‐dimensional 31P chemical shift imaging to the study of the isolated perfused rat heart is described. Its applicability for the examination of regional ischemia in the isolated perfused rat heart is demonstrated. The data sets show clearly the localization to the ischemic and nonischemic regions of the heart. Such studies will permit the correlation of cardiac metabolism and function in a controlled manner that is not possible in the application of these techniques to the intact animal. In particular, the time resolution of the experiments will enable spatially localized metabolic studies to be performed during the onset of ischemia and during reperfusion. Copyright © 1990 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.