Ten preterm infants severely ill with hyaline-membrane disease (HMD) were given artificial surfactant endotracheally. Oxygenation and alveolar-arterial oxygen gradients improved, the levels of inspired oxygen and peak respirator pressure could be reduced, and many of the radiological abnormalities resolved. Acidosis and systemic hypotension were also reversed. In nine infants a patent ductus arteriosus became evident after recovery from HMD, necessitating further assisted ventilation. Eight infants survived, including five of six with birthweight less than 1500 g; two died of unrelated causes. Postnatal tracheal instillation of artificial surfactant may prove a useful treatment for severe HMD.