Sodium deoxycholate is used for the disruption of particles in the manufacturing of some influenza vaccines. Residual deoxycholate in inactivated vaccines is currently determined using a labour-intensive colorimetric method which lacks complete specificity. An alternative assay method for residual deoxycholate in vaccine preparations was developed using reversed-phase LC. Cholic acid was used as internal standard and the ratio of internal standard to test solute was used for all calculations. Prior to LC analysis, deoxycholic acid was concentrated by solid-phase extraction, a procedure that also removed proteinaceous material in vaccine samples. The clean-up/concentration procedure recovery was examined using untreated samples and was found to be quantitative. The linearity range of the LC method was between 3 and 200 micrograms ml-1, with a limit of detection of approximately 0.4 micrograms on column, and a lower limit of quantitation of 1.6 micrograms on column. Replicate assays during intra-and inter-day experiments gave acceptable levels of variability. The DCA content of samples from three lots of influenza vaccine varied between 10 and 16 micrograms ml-1. These values were appreciably lower than those measured spectrophotometrically, indicating the higher specificity of the LC method.