Catecholamines Urine Test
Catecholamines Urine Test
This test measures Catecholamine levels in a 24 hour urine sample. Catecholamines are hormones which increase when a person is under physical or emotional stress. This test looks at the 3 primary Catecholamines which are Dopamine, Epinephrine (Adrenaline) and Norepinephrine. The release of Catecholamines into the blood has a number of effects including increased energy, dilated pupils, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and heightened metabolism. Typically, once the source of the stress has passed, Catecholamines are quickly metabolized and removed from the body through the urine. Catecholamine levels are normally low but they can be elevated by hormone producing tumors known as Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas. While these types of tumors are typically benign, the excess hormones they produce can cause hypertension, severe headaches, anxiety, sweating, nausea, rapid heartbeat and tingling in the hands and feet. If left untreated, they can result in kidney damage, heart disease and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
This test is typically ordered when a person has symptoms of excess Catecholamine production to help determine if a tumor is the cause of their condition. Catecholamine testing may also be done as a follow up to irregular results on a Metanephrine test. Urine testing has several potential benefits over blood testing. The stress of having blood drawn may falsely elevate Catecholamine levels. Catecholamine levels often fluctuate throughout the day so a single blood draw may not always yield accurate results. Measuring urine output for Catecholamines can give a better assessment of how much of the hormones a person is producing throughout the day.
Turnaround for this test is typically 3-5 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
Avoid stress. Many drugs (reserpine and α-methyldopa, levodopa, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and sympathomimetic amines) may interfere and should be discontinued two weeks prior to specimen collection. Nose drops, sinus and cough medicines, bronchodilators and appetite suppressants, α2-agonists, calcium channel blockers, converting enzyme inhibitors, bromocriptine, phenothiazine, tricyclic antidepressants, α- and β-blockers, and labetalol may interfere. Mandelamine® interferes, but thiazides do not. Caffeine products should be avoided before and during collection. Increased intracranial pressure and clonidine withdrawal can cause false-positive results1. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco (including use of nicotine patch), bananas, citrus fruits and strenuous exercise prior to collection.
The person being tested should void at 8 AM and discard the specimen. Preservative must be added to the container prior to the start of collection. The preservative may burn the skin so it is recommended not to touch the inside of the specimen container. Then collect all urine including the final specimen voided at the end of the 24-hour collection period (ie, 8 AM the next morning). Refrigerate specimen before returning it to the lab.