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Catecholamines Blood Test, Fractionated - NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

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catecholamine blood test measures the amount of the hormones in your body and includes: Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine and Total Catecholamines.

The catecholamine blood test measures the amount of the hormones dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine in your body. Doctors usually order the test to diagnose or rule out certain rare tumors, such as pheochromocytoma or neuroblastoma. The results of this test will help your doctor narrow down the list of possible causes of your symptoms.

The symptoms of a pheochromocytoma, or adrenal tumor, are:

  • high blood pressure
  • rapid heartbeat
  • an unusually hard heartbeat
  • heavy sweating
  • severe headaches off and on for an extended period
  • pale skin
  • unexplained weight loss
  • feeling unusually frightened for no reason
  • feeling strong, unexplained anxiety

The symptoms of neuroblastoma are:

  • painless lumps of tissue under the skin
  • abdominal pain
  • chest pain
  • back pain
  • bone pain
  • swelling of the legs
  • wheezing
  • high blood pressure
  • rapid heartbeat
  • diarrhea
  • bulging eyeballs
  • dark areas around the eyes
  • any changes to the shape or size of eyes, including changes to pupil size
  • a fever
  • unexplained weight loss


Medications that may interfere with catecholamines and metabolites include amphetamines and amphetamine-like compounds, appetite suppressants, bromocriptine, buspirone, caffeine, carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet), clonidine, dexamethasone, diuretics (in doses sufficient to deplete sodium), ethanol, isoproterenol, labetalol, methyldopa (Aldomet), MAO inhibitors, nicotine, nose drops, propafenone (Rythmol), reserpine, theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, and vasodilators. The effect of drugs on catecholamine results may not be predictable. 

Unless the purpose of the measurement is drug monitoring, discontinue any epinephrine, norepinephrine, or dopamine injections or infusions for at least 12 hours before specimen draw.  Discontinue medications that release epinephrine, norepinephrine, or dopamine or hinder their metabolism for at least 1 week before obtaining the specimen.  Never discontinue medication without first speaking with your doctor.


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