The single-dose pharmacokinetics of aztreonam was evaluated in 10 clinically stable subjects with cystic fibrosis. Each child received 30 mg aztreonam/kg intravenously over 2 to 3 minutes. Multiple timed blood samples were obtained over 8 hours for determination of aztreonam elimination kinetics; all urine excreted for 24 hours was collected in timed aliquots for the determination of aztreonam and its microbiologically inactive metabolite, SQ 26,992. Aztreonam pharmacokinetic parameters were determined by model-independent methods. Mean t1/2, steady-state volume distribution, and body clearance were 1.3 hr, 0.25 L/kg, and 127.2 ml/min/1.73m2, respectively. In 9 of the 10 subjects, two-compartment pharmacokinetic analysis was possible and compared favorably with model-independent parameter estimates. Twenty-four-hour urinary recovery of aztreonam was 76.3% of the administered dose; 2.6% was recovered as the metabolite SQ 26,992. The renal clearance of aztreonam averaged 92.5 ml/min/1.73m2. When these data are combined with in vitro susceptibility data for aztreonam against Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from the sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis, a dose of 200 mg aztreonam/kg/day divided six hourly would be predicted to maintain serum concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for these organisms for the majority of the dosing interval.