The important biogenic amine, serotonin (5HT), was determined in whole blood, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet-poor plasma (PPP), and plasma ultrafiltrate after simple deproteinization. Following ion-pair chromatography on standard or narrow-bore reverse-phase columns, 5HT and the internal standard (N-methylserotonin-NMS) were detected by fluorometry with absolute detection limits of 2-4 pg. Levels obtained for whole blood and PRP were in agreement with previous methods. However, mean (+/- SD) values obtained for platelet-poor plasma (PPP) of 578 +/- 277 pg/ml (N = 7) were approximately 3-fold lower than the lowest previous reports. We also report the first determination of 5HT in plasma ultrafiltrate, having observed mean levels of 387 +/- 222 pg/ml (N = 7).