Gastric distention-volvulus (GDV; at 50 mm of Hg gastric inflation pressure) was experimentally induced in 8 dogs anesthetized using pentobarbital. Hemodynamic indices including heart rate, mean arterial pressure, cardiac output, and coronary blood flow (4 dogs) were measured during a 20-minute period of GDV and for 10 minutes after decompression. Arterial and coronary venous oxygen tensions were also measured for calculation of myocardial oxygen extraction (7 dogs) and myocardial oxygen consumption (4 dogs). Dogs were monitored for 72 hours postoperatively for the occurrence of arrhythmias, then were euthanatized for gross and histologic examination of the heart. Experimental GDV resulted in significant (P less than 0.05) decreases in cardiac output (89%), mean arterial pressure (45%), and coronary blood flow (50%) compared with control values. Myocardial oxygen extraction increased (30%) and overall myocardial oxygen consumption decreased (50%), compared with control values. Evidence of subendocardial necrosis was seen in 6 dogs, 4 of which had developed ventricular arrhythmias 8 to 24 hours postoperatively.