Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) have attracted scientific interest due to their potential beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. Recent studies demonstrated that conjugated metabolites of CLA are found in tissues of CLA-fed animals and cultured cells treated with CLA. This observation has gained in importance since it has recently been shown that these metabolites of CLA exert specific biological activities. Therefore, the present study aimed to explore the potential formation of metabolites of cis-9, trans-11 CLA, trans-10, cis-12 CLA and trans-9, trans-11 CLA in cells of the vascular wall, which has not yet been shown. Examination of fatty acid composition of total cell lipids using Ag+-HPLC, GC-FID and GC-MS analysis revealed a significant isomer-specific formation of conjugated metabolites of CLA such as CD16:2, CD20:2 and CD22:2 in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells treated with various CLA isomers. Different CD16:2/CLA ratios between various CLA isomers as observed in the present study indicate that fatty acid metabolism is differently affected by the configuration of the double bonds. In conclusion, the observation from the present study suggests that the effects of CLA in vascular cells might not only be mediated by CLA itself but also by its conjugated metabolites. Future studies using highly purified conjugated metabolites of CLA are necessary to study their role in mediating biological effects of CLA in cell culture systems.