A high-performance liquid chromatographic assay for the determination of endogenous plasma and urine concentrations of N1-methylnicotinamide was developed. N1-Methylnicotinamide and N1-ethylnicotinamide (internal standard) are reacted with acetophenone in a strong base at 0 degree C, formic acid is added, and the reaction mixture is heated in a boiling water bath, resulting in the formation of fluorescent derivatives. These derivatives were chromatographed on a C18 reverse-phase column using a mobile phase of acetonitrile-triethylamine and 0.01 M heptanesulfonic acid adjusted to pH 3.2. Fluorescent detection was achieved using 366-nm excitation and 418-nm emission filters. Precision and accuracy were generally greater than 90%, interfering peaks did not cochromatograph, and the limit of quantification was 2 ng/ml in plasma using a 0.2-ml sample. The method was used to examine the concentrations of endogenous N1-methylnicotinamide in the plasma of 36 subjects with various pathology. The mean concentration was 18 ng/ml and the range was 6.2 to 116.7 ng/ml. The assay represents a marked improvement on previous methods and is suitable for routine clinical monitoring.