Catecholamines in Urine
How It Is Done
This test is usually done at home. You must collect all the urine you produce in a 24-hour period.
- You start collecting your urine in the morning.
When you first get up, empty your bladder. But do not save this urine. Write
down the time that you urinated to mark the beginning of your 24-hour
- For the next 24 hours, collect all your urine.
Your doctor or lab will usually provide you with a large container that holds
about 1 gal (4 L). The
container has a small amount of preservative in it. Urinate into a small, clean
container. Then pour the urine into the large container. Don't touch the
inside of the container with your fingers.
- Keep the large container
in the refrigerator when you aren't using it.
- Empty your bladder for the
last time at or just before the end of the 24-hour period. Add this urine to
the large container, and record the time.
- Do not get toilet paper,
pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the
How It Feels
Taking a 24-hour urine sample does not cause pain.
A 24-hour urine sample doesn't cause any problems.
A test for catecholamines measures the
amount of the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the urine. The test also usually measures the amounts of vanillylmandelic acid (VMA), metanephrine, and normetanephrine.
These numbers are just a guide. The range for "normal" varies from lab to lab. Your lab may have a different range. Your lab report should show what range your lab uses for "normal." Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. So a number that is outside the normal range here may still be normal for you.
Catecholamines in a 24-hour urine sample
Less than 100
micrograms (mcg) or less than 591
Less than 20 mcg or less than 109
15–80 mcg or 89–473 nmol
65–400 mcg or 420–2612 nmol
105–354 mcg or 573–1933 nmol
74–297 mcg or 375–1506
|Vanillylmandelic acid (VMA)
Less than 9
milligrams (mg) or less than 45 micromoles