Abstract Two different in vitro tests for pyrogens, using human peripheral blood monocytes (PBMNC) and diluted whole blood (WBC), respectively, were applied to different classes of parenteral medicinal products. Many of these products did not have a specified endotoxin limit concentration that was established as the maximum valid dilution to comply with the test. The results of the in vitro tests for pyrogens were compared with the results from the Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) and rabbit pyrogen tests. The Second International Standard for endotoxin was used to calibrate all of the assays and the International Standard for IL-6 was used to calibrate the IL-6 ELISA which provided the readout for the in vitro tests for pyrogens. Preparatory tests were conducted to ensure that the “criteria for validity and precision of the standard curve” were satisfied and that the drugs being tested did not interfere in the tests. The PBMNC/IL-6 test had a detection limit of 0.06 EU/ml and spike recoveries were 62–165%. The whole blood/IL-6 test also had a detection limit of 0.06 EU/ml and spike recoveries were 58–132%. The application to the detection of non-endotoxin pyrogens needs to be evaluated in more detail, but the two in vitro tests for pyrogens showed good agreement overall, both with each other and with the LAL test and the rabbit pyrogen test for the detection of endotoxins.