A variety of methods have been employed for the induction of hypothermia; however, there are still some inherent problems that remain with current techniques. Liquid ventilation, a process used in several other environmental and clinical research areas, may be a feasible method since it takes advantage of the effectiveness of the pulmonary architecture as a heat exchanger. Hypothermia induced by liquid ventilation was studied in 8 newborn lambs, mean age = 10 +/- 8 SEM days. Each lamb was anesthetized with sodium pentobarbitol (20 mg/kg) and intubated. Cardiopulmonary measurements were taken during a control period prior to induced hypothermia. Liquid temperatures of 20 and 30 degrees C were used in cooling the animal while monitoring rectal and surface temperatures. Temperatures decreased producing rectal cooling rates of 8.4 and 4.8 degrees C/hr, respectively. Blood gas analysis showed adequate physiological gas exchange for all lambs during the liquid ventilation period. Based on the data, the process of liquid ventilation offers a unique potential both in experimental and clinical areas as a new approach to the technique of induced hypothermia.