Aztreonam (30 mg/kg) was administered intravenously every 12 h during week 1 and every 8 h during weeks 2 to 4 of life to 26 low-birth-weight (less than 2,000 g) infants, and plasma concentration-time curves were measured on two occasions. The pharmacokinetics were described equally well by one-compartment and noncompartment models, and the values on day 1 were similar to those measured during the steady state on days 3 to 6. The mean peak plasma concentrations at completion of the 10-min infusion were from 65 to 83 micrograms/ml, the higher concentrations being seen in the larger infants. The half-lives of aztreonam ranged from 5.4 to 8.6 h and did not change significantly with birth weight. The median peak and trough plasma bactericidal titer against a strain of Escherichia coli (MBC, 10 micrograms/ml) was 1:16. Against a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MBC, 16 micrograms/ml), the median peak and trough bactericidal titers were 1:8 to 1:16 and 1:4, respectively. The urinary concentrations of aztreonam on day 1 of therapy were from 24 to 460.7 micrograms/ml (mean +/- 1 standard deviation, 254 +/- 113 micrograms/ml).