By mimicking hemostatic structural domains of collagen, Streptococcus sanguis (aggregation-positive phenotype; Agg+) induces platelets to aggregate in vitro. To test the hypothesis that aggregation occurs in vivo, S. sanguis (Agg+ or Agg- suspension) was infused intravenously into rabbits. The extent of hemodynamic and cardiopulmonary changes and the fate of circulating platelets were Agg+ strain dose dependent. Within 45 to 50 s of the start of infusion, 40 x 108 CFU of the Agg+ strain caused increased blood pressure. Thirty seconds after infusion, other changes occurred. Intermittent electrocardiographic abnormalities (13 of 15 rabbits), ST- segment depression (10 of 15 rabbits), and preventricular contractions (7 of 15 rabbits) manifested at 3 to 7 min, with frequencies dose dependent. Respiratory rate and cardiac contractility increased during this phase. Blood catecholamine concentration, thrombocytopenia, accumulation of 111Indium- labeled platelets in the lungs, and ventricular axis deviation also showed dose dependency. Rabbits were unaffected by inoculation of an Agg- strain. Therefore, Agg+ S. sanguis induced platelet aggregation in vitro. Platelet clots caused hemodynamic changes, acute pulmonary hypertension, and cardiac abnormalities, including ischemia.