The measurement of circulating catecholamines is valuable in the diagnosis of catecholamine secreting tumors associated chiefly with hypertension (pheochromocytomas, neuroblastomas, and gangliomas) and with the evaluation of orthostatic hypotension.
Catecholamines are a group of hormones that are released into the blood in times of stress. The most common catecholamines are adrenaline, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. These are produced in the adrenal glands and cells of the sympathetic nervous system. These catecholamine can be measured in the blood and their metabolites can be measured in the urine. This test is used for determining adrenal functions, since rare disorders like pheochromocytomas can cause these hormone levels to be abnormal. Therefore, this is a useful test, whether using blood or urine sample, to determine cause in people who have persistent hypertension.
This test is performed in following conditions such as:
• Persistent high blood pressure
• High blood pressure that does not respond to treatment
• Severe headaches
• Sweating and flushing
• Rapid heart rate
Also Known As: Dopamine, Epinephrine, Adrenaline, Norepinephrine
Overnight fasting without smoking or caffeine is required. Walnuts, bananas, and α-methyldopa (Aldomet®) should be avoided for a week prior to sampling. Other drug interference may occur, including epinephrine and epinephrine-like drugs (eg, nose drops, sinus and cough preparations, bronchodilators, appetite suppressants). The test is unreliable in subjects on levodopa or methenamine mandelate. For an optimal collection, avoid stress including exercise and remain supine in quiet surroundings for at least 30 minutes. Levels of one or more Catecholamines may be affected by a number of drugs including α- and β-adrenergic blockers, vasodilators, clonidine, bromocriptine, theophylline, phenothiazine, tricyclic antidepressants, labetalol, calcium channel blockers, converting enzyme inhibitors, bromocriptine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, and cocaine. Consult your doctor prior to stopping any medications.
Estimated Time Taken
Turnaround for this test is typically 4-8 business days.