Intratracheal administration of a single dose of the perfluorocarbon FC-100 improves lung function in surfactant-deficient animals. In this study we compared the response to repeated doses of FC-100 (3 mL/kg 3% solution, n = 5) with that observed after administration of Exosurf (5 mL/kg, n = 5) to mechanically ventilated preterm lambs of 125 d of gestation. The initial dose of FC-100 rapidly increased arterial PO2, decreased arterial PCO2, and improved arterial pH. Also dynamic lung compliance markedly improved with this agent. Administration of an additional dose of FC-100 resulted in relatively similar changes, albeit of lesser magnitude than those observed with the initial dose. In contrast, Exosurf did not improve these variables even after three doses. All lambs treated with FC-100 survived the 6-h study period, whereas one of the five Exosurf-treated lambs survived (p < 0.05). Mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate decreased in those lambs that received FC-100, but not in surviving lambs that received Exosurf. Our data demonstrate that repeated intratracheal administration of the perfluorocarbon FC-100 improves lung function and survival of surfactant-deficient lambs better than the synthetic surfactant Exosurf. We speculate that tensio-active agents with properties different from surfactant, such as FC-100, might improve lung function in preterm neonates with diseases due to surfactant deficiency.