Cardiac performance was studied in the isolated perfused hearts of rats heat acclimated at 34° C (AC) and their age-matched controls (C). The pressure-volume curves during isovolumetric conditions showed a shift to the right in AC compared with C hearts. At similar left ventricular (LV) volumes end-diastolic and peak systolic pressures of AC hearts were lower, but no difference was observed in the maximal pressure developed at the highest LV volumes measured. In both C and AC hearts the developed force decreased as pacing rate increased. AC and C heart responses were the same up to 250 pulses/min. At higher frequencies the amplitude of the developed force of AC hearts was smaller than that of the controls. In accordance the tension produced by very early premature beat reduced in AC compared with C hearts. Since no hypertrophy was observed in AC hearts, it is concluded that heat acclimation results in a change in the intrinsic properties of the AC hearts exhibited by increased compliance, reduced chamber stiffness, and a decrease in the tension developed for each volume load. It is also suggested that at a high beating rate AC hearts fail to restitute its contractility as quickly as C hearts.