Systolic function and diastolic function were significantly altered in hearts explanted from brain-dead rabbits compared with hearts from rabbits having a sham operation. Cromakalim pretreatment had no significant effect on poststorage systolic or diastolic function of hearts explanted from brain-dead or sham-operation rabbits. Further, cromakalim pretreatment did not affect coronary flow or overall creatine kinase release during reperfusion. CONCLUSIONS; In vivo pretreatment of brain-dead rabbits or anesthetized rabbits with an intravenous injection of cromakalim had no significant effect on functional recovery of or enzymatic release from explanted hearts after 5 hours' hypothermic storage and 60 minutes' reperfusion. These findings underscore the importance of clinically relevant experimental models.