Influence of non pulsatile systemic circulation on oxygen metabolism was examined regarding tissue perfusion in 12 adult goats weighing from 46 to 55 kg. Under general anesthesia, a flow character, changeable total left heart bypass circuit consisting of pulsatile and non pulsatile pumps was installed through a left thoracotomy. Systemic flow was converted from pulsatile to non pulsatile in 7 of 12 animals, and in the reverse order in the other 5, by changing the driving pump. Esophageal mucosal blood flow was determined by a colored microsphere method that estimated tissue blood flow at the pre capillary level. Esophageal intramucosal pH was evaluated with a silicone balloon tonometer catheter surgically placed in the submucosal space. Hemodynamic and arterial blood gas parameters were unchanged at flow mode conversion. Although oxygen delivery was comparable between pulsatile and non pulsatile circulation, oxygen extraction ratio was lower and venous oxygen saturation was higher in non pulsatile than pulsatile circulation. Although statistically not significant, serum lactate level tended to be higher with non pulsatile circulation. No difference was observed in esophageal mucosal blood flow between pulsatile and non pulsatile circulation, whereas intramucosal pH, which strongly correlated with arterial pH regardless of the flow mode, was significantly lower under non pulsatile than pulsatile conditions. In conclusion, systemic oxygen uptake is less efficient in non pulsatile than pulsatile circulation in the setting of an acute experiment using animals, which may be accounted for by the disparity between the pre capillary blood flow and actual tissue oxygen metabolism.