This study describes the pharmacokinetics of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in 15 pediatric patients with vasculitis and connective tissue disease involving the kidney. Patients included 10 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 1 with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, 2 with Wegener granulomatosis, and 1 each with Goodpasture syndrome, Henoch-Schönlein-associated nephritis, and 1 with severe tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis. All patients were treated with steroids and additional therapy prior to treatment with MMF, which was administered for a median of 491 days. Mean starting dose of MMF was 974+/-282 mg/m(2 )in two divided doses. Pharmacokinetic monitoring of the active compound of MMF, mycophenolic acid (MPA), was performed using an EMIT assay. The mean MPA AUC after a median of 39 days was 61.8+/-31.0 micro gxh/ml, median time to maximum concentration was 60 min, and mean maximum concentration was 18.5+/-8.4 micro g/ml. At last follow-up, mean MMF dose was 900+/-341 mg/m(2) per day, and mean trough MPA concentration was 3.1+/-1.1 (range 0.6-4.6) micro g/ml. Therapy was effective in inducing remission in 4 of 9 patients with active disease. Only 1 of the 5 other patients relapsed. All 6 patients with controlled disease maintained remission. There were few side effects: one episode each of diarrhea and leukocytopenia and two viral infections. We conclude that MMF at 900 mg/m(2) per day appears to be effective in these patients.