Prostanoids are potent mediators of many physiological and pathophysiological processes. Of the many analytical methodologies used for their qualitative and quantitative analysis, electrospray tandem mass spectrometry coupled to liquid chromatography (LC/ESI-MS/MS) offers a rapid, sensitive and versatile system applicable to lipidomic analyses. We have developed an LC/ESI-MS/MS assay for twenty-seven mediators including prostaglandins, prostacyclines, thromboxanes, dihydroprostaglandins and isoprostanes. The assay was liner over the concentration range 1–100 pg/µL. The limits of detection and quantitation were 0.5–50 and 2–100 pg, respectively, whilst recoveries were from 83–116% depending on the metabolite. The assay can be applied to the profiling of prostanoids produced by a variety of biological fluids and extracts including brain, liver, plasma and urine, thus facilitating our understanding of the role of these lipid mediators in health and disease, as well as assisting in drug development. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.