Lab Test

Homovanillic Acid (HVA), Random Urine

Test Codes

Mayo: HVAR, EPIC: LAB5863, Beaker:

Department

Send Outs

Instructions

Patient Preparation: Administration of L-dopa may falsely increase homovanillic acid results; it should be discontinued 24 hours prior to and during collection of specimen. Bactrim may interfere with detection of the analyte. All patients taking Bactrim should be identified to the laboratory when this test is ordered.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect (preferred specimen): Random urine with 50% acetic acid preservative. This preservative is intended to achieve a pH of between approximately 1 and 5.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Maintain specimens refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: 0.5 mL random urine, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum: 2.0 mL)

Rejection Criteria

Samples not kept refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.

In-Lab Processing

Adjust urine pH with 50% acetic acid preservative to achieve a pH of between approximately 1 and 5.

Transport: 0.5 mL random urine, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum: 2.0 mL)

Storage

Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Unacceptable
Refrigerated (with preservative) (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 28 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 180 days

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Specimen retention time is determined by the policy of the reference laboratory. Contact the Send Outs Laboratory with any questions.

Laboratory

Sent to Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester, MN.

Performed

Monday, Thursday.
Results available in 3-6 days.

Reference Range

By report.

Test Methodology

Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

Interpretation

HVA is the primary metabolite of dopamine and elevations reflect increased dopamine levels due to either a tumor or drug therapy. Levels can be extremely elevated in urines from patients receiving dopamine, L-dopa, disulfiram and reserpine.

Clinical Utility

This assay is helpful in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, or ganglio-blastoma and to monitor the patient's response to therapy. If neuroblastoma is suspected, it is best to determine Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), Urine levels since either dopamine or norepinephrine could be increased.

CPT Codes

83150
LOINC:  Adult 2436-4, Child 13760-4, 11146-8

Contacts

Last Updated

7/16/2021

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