Catecholamines - urine

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process

24 hour urine collection with HCl as preservative.


HPLC, radiometric assay.

Reference Interval

Adrenaline: <80 nmol/24 hours
Noradrenaline: <780 nmol/24 hours
Dopamine: <3,500 nmol/24 hours.

ApplicationDiagnosis of phaeochromocytoma (increased adrenaline and/or noradrenaline); diagnosis of neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroma (increased dopamine). For phaeochromocytoma plasma metanephrine may be preferred.

Excretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline is usually increased in phaeochromocytoma, particularly after a hypertensive paroxysm.

Excretion may also be increased in malignant hypertension and with severe stress.

Some drugs (eg, labetalol) may interfere in some assays - consult pathologist.

See also Catecholamines - plasma
Metadrenalines and 
Clonidine suppression test.


Gerlo EAM and Sevens C. Clin Chem 1994; 40: 250-256.