Abstract The pivaloyloxyethyl ester of methyldopa is an antihypertensive prodrug possessing improved bioavailability properties over methyldopa. A sensitive cation-exchange, high-performance liquid chromatographic assay using electrochemical detection has been developed for the ester in plasma and urine in order to determine the extent of its hydrolysis after oral administration. The chromatographic conditions involve two Altex Partisil 10 SCX columns (25 cm × 4.6 mm) in series; a mobile phase consisting of methanol, potassium phosphate buffer, pH 3.0, and EDTA disodium dihydrate; and an electrochemical detector set at 0.5 V. The pivaloyloxyethyl ester in plasma or urine is extracted into ethyl acetate, back-extracted into 0.1 M sulfuric acid, and analyzed directly by high-performance liquid chromatography. For urine, the ethyl acetate extract is washed with a buffer (pH 8.0) prior to the back-extraction step. The assay gives a linear response over the concentration range of 10–160nng/ml in plasma and 20–400 ng/ml in urine.