The authors describe a rapid, sensitive radioimmunoassay for enzymatically inactive creatine kinase B protein (CK-Bi) in plasma. /sup 125/I-CK-Bi of high specific activity and good stability was prepared by oxidant-based iodination. A 12-minute first antibody incubation was used. Bound and free antigen were separated by a second antibody system. Large excesses of purified CK-MM from human skeletal muscle did not react in the assay. Cross reactivity to CK-MB purified from the plasma of patients with acute myocardial infarction was negligible. The 95th percentile of plasma CK-Bi in 150 adults was 145 ..mu..g equivalents/ml. Within-assay and between-assay precision ranged from 5% to 9% and 6% to 10%, respectively. Evidence is presented indicating that the assay measures inactive creatine kinase B protein, a protein not measured by current assay systems dependent on biological activity.