Arachidonic acid (AA) can be metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes to many biologically active compounds including 5,6-, 8,9-, 11,12-, and 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), their corresponding dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), as well as 19- and 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs). These eicosanoids are potent regulators of vascular tone. However, their role in the ischemic myocardium has not been well investigated. In this study, we used a gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric technique to analyze total EETs, DHETs, and 20-HETE released into coronary venous plasma during coronary artery occlusion and reperfusion in anesthetized dogs. Pentafluorobenzyl esters (PFB-esters) of EETs and PFB-esters/trimethylsilyl ethers (TMS-ethers) of DHETs and 20-HETE were detected in the negative ion chemical ionization (NICI) using methane as a reagent gas. Under the conditions used, all four regioisomers of EET eluted from the capillary gas chromatographic column at similar retention times while four regioisomers of DHETs and 20-HETE eluted separately. The detection limits in plasma samples are 5 pg for total EETs, 40 pg for DHET, and 15 pg for 20-HETE. 14,15-DHET is the major regioisomer detected in the plasma samples while other regioisomers of DHETs are probably present at too low a concentration for detection. During the first 5 to 15 min of coronary occlusion, a slight decrease in the concentration of EETs, 14,15-DHET, and 20-HETE from the control values was observed in coronary venous plasma. At 60 min of occlusion, their concentrations significantly increased and remained elevated during 5 to 60 min of reperfusion. The concentrations decreased at 120 min of reperfusion. The NICI GC-MS was successfully used as a sensitive technique to determine cP450 metabolites of AA in plasma during prolonged occlusion-reperfusion periods. Furthermore, the results indicate that these metabolites may play a role in mediating ischemic-reperfusion injury.