The population pharmacokinetics of ganciclovir was investigated in a group of 27 newborns with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus infection by nonlinear mixed-effects modeling analysis. Individual characteristics including approximated creatinine clearance from serum (ASCC) and body weight (WGE) were identified to significantly influence total clearance from plasma (CL) and the apparent total volume of distribution (V) of ganciclovir, respectively. The regression equations used to model these relationships were expressed as CL (in liters per hour) = 0.262 + (0.00271 x ASCC) and V (in liters) = 0.627 + (0.437 x WGE). By using this model, typical values of the pharmacokinetic parameter CL and V were 0.428 +/- 0.079 liters/h and 1.773 +/- 0.320 liters, respectively. Upon validation with a larger number of newborns, this model should allow for the definition of possible relationships between the pharmacokinetic disposition of ganciclovir and pharmacodynamic events in neonates.