What is the efficacy of plasma metanephrine and catecholamine testing to screen for pheochromocytomas?

Updated: Aug 10, 2018
  • Author: Michael A Blake, MBBCh, MRCPI, FRCR; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Some authors have reported good experience with evaluating epinephrine and norepinephrine separately (in part to confirm the total catecholamine level and in part to determine whether levels reflect the high norepinephrine-to-epinephrine ratio expected). Separate measurement of metanephrine and normetanephrine, to confirm the total metanephrine level and the normetanephrine-to-metanephrine ratio, has also proved useful.

Although dopamine is a major catecholamine, measurement of dopamine levels in 24-hour urine is not useful, because most urinary dopamine is derived from renal extraction.


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