Liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection is used for the determination of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine in rat heart tissue, and the method has also been applied to the determination of basic levels of these compounds in blood plasma. The catecholamines are isolated from the biological sample by adsorption onto alumina and are then desorbed by elution with perchloric acid. The stability of the compounds during the different stages in the work-up process has been studied. A greatly simplified procedure for the preparation of alumina is presented. Both ion-pair reversed-phase and ion-exchange liquid chromatography have been used for the separation of the catecholamines. For plasma samples the method has been validated against radioenzymatic assay and the choice of method is discussed.