Exogenous and endogenous oxidants constantly cause oxidative damage to DNA. Since the reactive oxidants itself are not suitable for analysis, oxidized bases like 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG) are used as biomarkers for oxidative stress, either in cellular DNA or as elimination product in urine. A simple, fast and robust analytical procedure is described for urinary 8OHdG as an indicator of oxidative damage in humans. The adduct was purified from human urine by applying a single solid-phase extraction step on LiChrolut EN. After evaporation of the eluate, the residue was resolved and an aliquote was injected into a HPLC system with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The limit of detection was 0.2 ng ml(-1) (7 fmol absolute) when using one product ion as quantifier and two further product ions as qualifier. The coefficient of variation was 10.1% (n=5 at 2.8 ng ml(-1) urine). The sample throughput was about 50 samples a day. Thus, this method is more sensitive and much faster than the common method using HPLC with electrochemical detection. The results of a study with nine volunteers investigated at six time-points each over 5 days are presented. The mean excretion of 8OHdG was 2.1 ng mg(-1) creatinine (range 0.17-5.9 ng mg(-1) creatinine; 4 of 53 samples were below the LOD). A relatively large intra- (relative SD 66%) and inter-individual (relative SD 71%) variation in urinary 8OHdG excretion rates was found.