A method has been developed for the simultaneous and rapid analysis of the 3-hydroxypyridinium crosslinks of mature collagen, pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline, in samples of urine and tissue. After hydrolysis in 6 M HCl, samples were prefractionated by partition chromatography using columns packed with cellulose CF1. The appropriate fractions were freeze-dried and then subjected to high-performance liquid chromatography using a gradient system with 20 mM NH4Cl, pH 3.5, and acetonitrile, incorporating 1-octanesulfonic acid as an ion-pairing agent; the pyridinium crosslinks were detected fluorometrically. The limit of detection of both crosslinks was 1 pmol. The mean recoveries of added standard to samples ranged between 94.2 and 97.2%, and the reproducibility of the complete procedure was between 12 and 16%. An application of the method in the study of degenerative disorders of bone and connective tissue is illustrated.