Skeletal muscle ventricles were constructed in fifteen dogs. After a delay period of 4 weeks the skeletal muscle ventricles were connected to the descending thoracic aorta with a polytetrafluoroethylene bifurcation graft (Gore-Tex bifurcation graft, W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc., Elkton, Md.). The aorta was ligated between the two limbs of the graft so that there was obligatory blood flow through the skeletal muscle ventricle. Nine skeletal muscle ventricles were lined with autogenously derived tissue, either pleura or pericardium, whereas six had no specific lining other than an induced fibrous reaction. The skeletal muscle ventricles were activated to contract during cardiac diastole. Aortic diastolic counterpulsation was achieved in all dogs, with ten surviving from 1 week to beyond 9 months. Thrombus eventually developed in all but three of the skeletal muscle ventricles, but no dog had clinical evidence of thromboemboli. The three thrombus-free skeletal muscle ventricles were lined with pleura, including the animal surviving beyond 9 months. These results indicate that canine skeletal muscle can provide aortic diastolic counterpulsation for 9 months without clinically apparent thromboembolic complications.