The high frequency ventilation (HIFI) trial for hyaline membrane disease (HMD) showed no advantage of high frequency over conventional ventilation in pulmonary outcomes after 24 months. The present study tested the hypothesis that there would be no significant difference in childhood lung function between patients who had been ventilated by either method. Thirty-two children aged 8-9 years who completed the HIFI trial were asked to return for pulmonary function tests. For purposes of analysis, the patient population was divided according to mode of ventilation, and by diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) or HMD. Results were compared to those of 15 term-born, matched, controls. Lung function tests showed a mildly obstructive pattern in prematurely born children. More severe obstruction was seen in those children who had physician-diagnosed asthma or who had used bronchodilators in the past. The prevalence of mild obstructive pattern on pulmonary function testing in preterm infants with HMD or BPD was similar in those who received high frequency vs. conventional ventilation. Factors other than the mode of ventilation exert greater influence on pulmonary outcome in survivors of lung disease of prematurity.