Perfusion of the isolated rat heart with a fluid containing 800 mm glycerol in addition to its normal constituents causes a contraction height decrease of about 50%. A change to normal perfusion fluid causes a period of contracture to occur. After this period the heart is perfectly viable. Mechanical and osmotic effects could be ruled out as possible causes. No gross disturbances were seen in the electron micrographs. An effect on intermediary metabolism is equally unlikely. Presumably, we must seek the explanation in a direct effect of the glycerol on the ca++ fluxes across the cellular and intracellular membranes.