A prospective comparison was made of the clinical courses of two groups of neonates ventilated according to different protocols: one group at rates of 20 to 40/minute with a one-second IT, and the other at a rate of 60/minute and 0.5 second IT. Other ventilator settings were adjusted within protocol limits to maintain desired blood gas values. Mean starting and highest PIP were lower in the rapid rate group. The results showed no difference in mortality, failure to remain within protocol limits, time requiring respiratory treatment or FiO2 more than 0.6, and incidence of PDA or chronic lung disease. There was a difference (P = 0.011) in number of infants developing pneumothoraces (14% in the rapid group vs 35% in the slow group). Rapid rate ventilation can be used to decrease the incidence of pneumothorax, reserving long IT and higher PIP for infants who cannot be oxygenated or ventilated without them.