Intratracheal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) causes acute inflammation and injurious mechanical ventilation results in pulmonary and systemic inflammation. We aimed to determine in preterm lungs if continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) protects against pulmonary and systemic inflammation, compared with conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) after intratracheal LPS. Preterm fetuses were exposed to maternal betamethasone and Epostane 36 h before delivery at 133 d gestational age (term = 150 d). Lambs were intubated and randomized to receive gentle CMV (tidal volume 8 mL/kg) or CPAP with 8 cm H2O pressure. Surfactant (10 mg/kg) mixed with 1 mg LPS or saline was instilled into the trachea at 15 min. Blood gas status, ventilation variables, and arterial pressures were recorded for 3 h. Static pressure-volume curves and lung and systemic inflammation were assessed postmortem. CPAP lambs had elevated Paco2 and minute ventilation compared with the CMV lambs. Cytokine mRNA was increased in the lungs and liver of CPAP and CMV lambs relative to unventilated controls. Intratracheal LPS amplified the cytokine mRNA responses of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 in the lung and liver. Blood neutrophils decreased similarly after LPS in CPAP and CMV groups. Cytokine markers of lung injury or the systemic response to intratracheal LPS were not decreased by CPAP relative to CMV, in preterm lambs.