The monolithic, large frontal area (LFA), extruded ceramic substrates for diesel flow-through catalysts offer unique advantages of design versatility, longterm durability, ease of packaging and low Cost [1, 2]*. This paper examines the effect of cell density and cell size on catalyst light-off performance, back pressure, mechanical and thermal durability, and the steady-state catalytic activity. The factors which affect these performance characteristics are discussed. Certain trade-offs in performance parameters, which are necessary for optimum systems design, are also discussed. Following a brief discussion of design methodology, substrate selection, substrate/washcoat interaction and packaging specifications, the durability data for ceramic flow-through catalysts are summarized. A total of over 18 million vehicle miles have been successfully demonstrated by ceramic LFA catalysts using the systems design approach.