Procedures for the determination of vinblastine (VBL), 4-O-deacetylvinblastine (DVBL) and 4-O-deacetylvinblastine-3-oic acid (DVBLA) in biological samples using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with selective sample clean-up are presented. VBL and DVBL were determined in plasma and urine using ion-exchange normal-phase HPLC with fluorescence detection. The limit of detection was 1 microgram/l for both compounds using a 500-microliter sample. Successful chromatographic analyses of DVBLA were achieved by using a glass column packed with 5-microns Hypersil ODS and acetonitrile-0.05 M phosphate buffer (pH 2.7) (23:77, v/v). Positive identification was supported by the use of diode-array detection. The limit of detection (at 270 nm) was 10 micrograms/l using 1-ml samples.