Although recent studies have demonstrated the existence of the requisite enzymic machinery necessary for the shuttling of vinyl ether linkages through polar head group remodeling, the relative rates of plasmalogen de novo synthesis and polar head group remodeling are unknown. Pulse-chase radiolabeling of perfused rabbit hearts with [1-3H] hexadecanol demonstrated the rapid and progressive incorporation of radiolabel into plasmenylethanolamine (e.g., after 0.5 h of radiolabeling, 10% of [1-3H]hexadecanol incorporated into ethanolamine glycerophospholipid was in plasmenylethanolamine, and after 1.5 h, 21% was in plasmenylethanolamine) with no detectable radiolabeling of plasmenylcholine until 3 h after the pulse. Furthermore, perfusion of hearts with [1′,2′-alkcyl-3H2]1-O-alkyl-GPC resulted in the rapid incorporation of radiolabel into plasmanylcholine, but not plasmenylcholine, even after extended perfusion intervals. In contrast, both radiolabeled choline and ethanolamine were rapidly incorporated into plasmalogens through polar head group remodeling at rates that were over 300-fold greater than that of plasmalogen de novo synthesis (e.g., an incorporation rate of 31 nmol/gdry•h for ethanolamine but only 93 pmol/gdry•h for hexadecanol into plasmenylethanolamine was manifest). Similarly, sn-2 remodeling of plasmalogen molecular species with arachidonic or oleic acid also occurred at rates that were over 100-fold greater than that of de novo plasmalogen biosynthesis. Collectively, these results underscore the fundamental importance of rapid polar head group remodeling of plasmalogen molecular species in the synthesis and maintenance of plasmenylcholine and plasmenylethanolamine pools in intact contracting myocardium.