The separation of five phenolic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites (hydroxy-PAHs) has been performed by cyclodextrin-modified micellar electrokinetic chromatography (CD-MEKC) using a 30 mM borate buffer (pH 9.0) containing 60 mM sodium dodecyl sulfate and varying concentrations of γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD). A concentration of 12.5 mM γ-CD was found to provide a baseline separation of the five hydroxy-PAHs. We applied conventional fluorescence and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection, using a new, small-size, quadrupled Nd-YAG laser emitting at 266 nm. The best limits of detection, in the low ng/ml range, were achieved using LIF detection. For all analytes, linearity was observed up to ca. 100 ng/ml. As an application, conjugated pyrene metabolites in hepatopancreas samples from the terrestrial isopods Oniscus asellus and Porcellio scaber were separated and detected. Finally, flatfish bile samples from individuals exposed to polluted sediment or crude oil, which were part of an interlaboratory study, were analyzed by CD-MEKC with conventional fluorescence and LIF detection to determine the 1-hydroxypyrene concentrations. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.