HPLC with electrochemical detection is a highly sensitive and selective method for detecting the oxidatively modified DNA residue oh8dG. By this method, the detection of oh8dG from DNA and urine offers a powerful approach for assessing in vivo oxidative damage. Application of this technique to the detection of oh8dG from DNA permits the quantitation of the steady-state levels of this oxidatively modified deoxynucleoside and overcomes the detection problems associated with the extremely low levels present in DNA. In addition, the selectivity gained by this detection method eliminates the problem of separating the signal for oh8dG from normal deoxynucleosides. The quantitation of oh8dG in urine complements the measurement of oh8dG in DNA by estimating cumulative oxidative DNA damage in the body. In addition, the urinary assay provides a noninvasive means of measuring this type of damage in laboratory animals and human populations. Thus, an individual animal or human subject may be monitored over time, possibly under various prooxidant conditions, using oh8dG as a sensitive marker for oxidative DNA damage. This analytical approach may allow one to estimate the exposure of an individual to prooxidant conditions associated with lifestyle, genetic predisposition, degenerative diseases, and environmental toxins.