During the past decade, several patient risk factors have been identified as contributing to the development of aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity. Sawyers et al. recently published a method for estimating the probability of aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity on an individual patient basis. The present work represents a refinement of previous publications and has not been tested with the common variations used in aminoglycoside dosing. The purpose of this study was to determine both the qualitative and quantitative value of this method in predicting aminoglycoside induced nephrotoxicity. Eighty-three patients (47 male, 36 female) meeting the inclusion criteria of Sawyers et al. were entered into the study. Patient risk factors (age, sex, initial 1-h postinfusion aminoglycoside serum level, initial calculated creatinine clearance, duration of therapy, and presence of liver disease) were entered into a logistic regression analysis to determine the individual patient's risk of developing nephrotoxicity. These calculated probability scores were then compared with the observed nephrotoxicity in specific groups within our patient sample to see how effectively the model quantitatively performed. Twelve patients (14.5%) developed nephrotoxicity. The model predicted only 5 of the 12 patients developing nephrotoxicity (sensitivity or true positive = 42%). In the nonnephrotoxic group, the model accurately predicted only 38 of 71 patients (specificity or true negative = 54%). These data suggest that the model may accurately quantitate the number of patients likely to develop nephrotoxicity from a specific group but is unable to discriminate specific patients at risk of developing aminoglycoside-induced nephrotoxicity.