A dilatable form of bilateral branch pulmonary artery stenosis was created in 27 newborn lambs. Nine lambs were long-term survivors and were dilated with modified Gruntzig balloon dilation catheters. They were allowed to recover for 6-9 weeks, during which time there was no significant change in the mean systolic gradients across the narrowed sites. Thirteen arteries underwent dilation. Dilation was associated with a decrease in the systolic gradient in all cases (from 34.9 mm Hg to 8.1 mm Hg) and an increase in the diameter of the narrowed site (from 4.6 to 7.6 mm) as estimated by angiography. Flows and flow distribution were measured in four lambs before and after unilateral dilation using 15-μ radiolabeled microspheres; in each case, the fraction of total flow to the dilated lung rose after dilation (19.2 to 45.4%), as did the total flow to the dilated lung (30.0 to 69.2 ml/kg-min). Four lambs catheterized every 2-4 weeks for an average of 16 weeks after dilation; the average gradient in these lambs remained below 10 mm Hg despite considerable growth (from 9.6 to 25.9 kg). Gross pathologic examination showed an intact vascular adventitia in all cases; there were multiple linear tears in the intima in recently (less than 7 days) dilated cases, but complete intimal healing had occurred by 2 months after dilation. No significant morbidity could be attributed to the dilation procedure. These results indicate that clinical trials are warranted.