Lab Test

Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), 24-Hour Urine

Test Codes

Warde: UVMA, EPIC: LAB7066, Beaker:


Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect (preferred specimen): 24-hour urine sample with no preservatives. 
Keep 24-hour urine specimen iced or refrigerated during collection.

  • Include start and end dates and times for the collection period on the specimen container.
  • The specimen must be transported to the Laboratory immediately after the end of the collection interval. 
Urine Preservative Options
No Preservative
6N Hydrochloric Acid
Boric Acid (10g)
Sodium Carbonate
50% Acetic Acid

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

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

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Entire 24-hour urine collection, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Rejection Criteria

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

Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.

In-Lab Processing

Measure total volume of 24-hour urine specimen. Record total volume and collection start and end dates and times in the LIS system. Aliquot 25.0 mL from the well-mixed 24-hour urine collection. (Minimum: 10.0 mL).


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Unacceptable
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 14 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.


Sent to Warde Medical Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI.


Monday – Friday
Results are available in 6-8 days.

Reference Range

By report.

Test Methodology

Quantitative High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) – Tandem Mass Spectrometry.


Elevated levels are seen in cases of pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma and in some cases of carcinoid tumor.

Clinical Utility

Vanillylmandelic Acid is the primary metabolite of the catecholamines. Quantitation of VMA has been valuable in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with phenochromocytoma and related neurogenic tumors. Catecholamine-secreting tumors are surgically curable; therefore, it may be desirable to evaluate hypertensive patients for this possible cause.

CPT Codes

84585, 82570.


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