Abstract A rapid, sensitive method for the quantitative measurement of certain major and modified purines in DNA of carcinogen-treated animals is presented. DNA hydrolysates are analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography combined with fluorescence detection and electronic integration of peaks. Limits of detection are approximately 7 ng for 7-methylguanine and 150 pg for O 6-methylguanine. Between 100 and 250 μg target organ DNA from animals treated with several carcinogens was shown to contain readily detectable amounts of these methylated bases. The method provides results comparable to those obtained with conventional methods using radioactively labeled carcinogens.