Little is known about delivery of aerosolized medications to infants undergoing assisted positive pressure ventilation. To assess delivery of medications to the lung with an infant ventilator (Bournes LS104), 27 experiments were performed on anesthetized adult rabbits. Lung deposition was determined by using aerosol radiolabeled with 99m technetium sulfur colloid. Initially a traditional nebulizer was studied and very inefficient delivery to the lung was observed (0.19 +/- 0.10 SD% of the initial nebulizer dose). Subsequent experiments using a nebulizer that generates submicronic aerosol particles, at equivalent aerosol output, achieved a highly significant increase in delivery (1.96 +/- 1.19 SD%, P less than 0.001). Our experiments demonstrated that modifications to to traditional nebulizer systems can enhance delivery of aerosolized medication to the lungs of rabbits.