The concept of liquid ventilation has evolved in recent years into the concept of partial liquid ventilation. In this technique, conventional mechanical ventilation is combined with intratracheal perfluorocarbon administration. Partial liquid ventilation is a promising technique for improving gas exchange during mechanical ventilation in neonatal and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The initial data showed no adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, and histological studies demonstrated that perfluorocarbons minimize or prevent the progress of lung injury in animals. Partial liquid ventilation is currently in use in human trials, and in this review we describe the principles of the technique and recently available data of its application.