Beta-lactams are regularly administered in intermittent short-term infusions. The percentage of the dosing interval during which free drug concentrations exceed the MIC (fT>MIC) is the measure of drug exposure that best correlates with clinical outcome for beta-lactams. Therefore, administration by continuous infusion has gained increasing interest recently. We studied 20 critically ill patients with nosocomial pneumonia and investigated whether continuous infusion with a reduced total dose, compared to the standard regimen of intermittent short-term infusion, results in a superior probability of target attainment as assessed by the fT>MIC value of imipenem. In this prospective, randomized, controlled clinical study, patients received either a loading dose of 1 g/1 g imipenem and cilastatin (as a short-term infusion) at time zero, followed by 2 g/2 g imipenem-cilastatin per 24 h as a continuous infusion for 3 days (n = 10), or 1 g/1 g imipenem-cilastatin three times per day as a short-term infusion for 3 days (total daily dose, 3 g/3 g; n = 10). Imipenem concentrations in plasma were determined by using a validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay. A two-compartment open model was employed for population pharmacokinetic modeling. We simulated 10,000 intensive-care-unit patients via Monte Carlo simulations for pharmacodynamic evaluation using the target 40 fT>MIC. The probability of target attainment by MIC for intermittent infusion was robust (>90 ) up to MICs of 1 to 2 mg/liter. The corresponding value for continuous infusion was 2 to 4 mg/liter. Although all 20 patients had an fT>MIC of 100 , 3 patients died. Patient survival was best described by employing a sepsis-related organ failure assessment score as a covariate in a logistic regression analysis. Larger clinical trials are warranted for evaluation of continuous infusions at a reduced dose of imipenem for critically ill patients.