Catecholamines in Urine
How It Is Done
24-hour urine sample
- 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 and then pour the urine into the large container. Do not touch the
inside of the container with your fingers.
- Keep the large container
in the refrigerator for the 24 hours.
- Empty your bladder for the
final 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
There is no pain while collecting a
24-hour urine sample.
There is no chance for problems while collecting
a 24-hour urine sample.
A test for catecholamines measures the
amount of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the urine. The test also usually measures the amounts of vanillylmandelic acid (VMA), metanephrine, and normetanephrine.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
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