Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Catecholamines, Plasma (Norepinephrine, Epinephrine)

Test Name: Catecholamines, Plasma (Norepinephrine, Epinephrine)
Alternate Name(s): Epinephrine
Laboratory: Core
Specimen Type: 4 mL Lavender top Vacutainer tube
Collection Information: A minimum volume of 2 mL is required for testing.

Patient must be supine for at least 15 minutes prior to and during specimen collection.

Collect after overnight fast (water and non-caffeinated drinks permissable). Catechol drugs may interfere, including alpha methyldopa, alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine, isoproteronal, dobutamine and carbidopa.

Provide list of medications.

Cool, separate and freeze immediately.

Store and send frozen.

If the specimen thaws, it is unsuitable for analysis.
Test Schedule: As required
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
10 days
Reference Range: Norepinephrine:
Normotensive Adult, Supine:
0.8 - 3.4 nmol/L

Normotensive Adult, Supine:
< or = 0.8 nmol/L
Effective Date: 2009-11-25
Revised Date: 2018-12-19
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Either steadily or paroxysmally elevated in pheochromocytoma. Antihypertensive medication should be discontinued at least 24 hrs before collection. Vasodilating drugs increase plasma catecholamine levels and some beta blockers cause analytical interference. When feasible, these agents should be withdrawn for 48 hours prior to sampling. This test is highly sensitive for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma during periods of hypertension. Circulating Norepinephrine and Dopamine are marginally increased if patient is on vasodilating drugs. Levels also increased in essential hypertension.
Special Processing:  
Comments: Contact:
Endocrinology Laboratory x 77676
Method of Analysis: HPLC/ECD
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment: Samples referred in from other locations should be spun and plasma sent frozen on dry ice.
System Codes: 
Referred To: In-Common Laboratories

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