A rapid insulin sensitivity test (RIST) was recently introduced to assess insulin action in vivo (H. Xie, L. Zhu, Y.L. Zhang, D.J. Legare, and W.W. Lautt. J. Pharmacol. Toxicol. Methods, 35: 77-82. 1996). This technical report describes the current recommended standard operating procedure for the use of the RIST in rats based upon additional experience with approximately 100 tests. We describe the manufacture and use of an arterial-venous shunt that allows rapid multiple arterial samples and intravenous administration of drags. The RIST procedure involves determination of a stable arterial glucose baseline to define the ideal euglycemic level to be maintained following a 5- min infusion of insulin, with the RIST index being the amount of glucose required to be infused to maintain euglycemia over the test period. Insulin administration by a 5-min infusion is preferable to a 30-s bolus administration. No significant difference was determined between the use of Toronto pork-beef or human insulin. Four consecutive RISTs were carried out in the same animal over 4-5 h with no tendency for change with time. The RIST index is sufficiently sensitive and reproducible to permit establishment of insulin dose-response curves and interference of insulin action by elimination of hepatic parasympathetic nerves, using atropine. This technical report provides the current recommended standard operating procedure for the RIST.