The in vitro susceptibilities of 69 nosocomial Acinetobacter isolates were determined by the broth microdilution method. Fourteen (20%) isolates were resistant to at least two aminoglycosides and two extended-spectrum penicillins. Nine antimicrobial combinations were then tested for synergy against these 14 isolates by checkerboard titration: imipenem with ciprofloxacin, amikacin, and tobramycin and ampicillin-sulbactam, piperacillin-tazobactam, and ticarcillin-clavulanate with amikacin and tobramycin. Synergy was detected with one or more antimicrobial combinations against 9 of 14 (64%) isolates, partial synergy was detected with one or more combinations against all 14 isolates, and an additive effect alone was observed with two different combinations against two isolates. No antagonism was detected with any combination. Imipenem plus either amikacin or tobramycin resulted in a synergistic or partial synergistic response against all 14 isolates. Specific combinations showing synergy against A. baumannii isolates were imipenem with tobramycin (four isolates), imipenem with amikacin (three isolates), ampicillin-sulbactam with tobramycin (six isolates), ampicillin-sulbactam with amikacin (three isolates), and ticarcillin-clavulanate with tobramycin (one isolate). Genotyping by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis showed that 9 of the 14 isolates were of one strain, 4 isolates were of a second strain, and the remaining isolate was of a different strain. Eight of 14 (57%) patients infected with resistant A. baumannii isolates died. Only 3 of 14 patients had received a therapeutic regimen which was tested for synergy. Clinical studies are needed to determine the significance of these findings.