Lab Test

Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA), Random Urine

Test Codes

EPIC: LAB7067, Beaker: VMA Random, Warde: UVMAR


Send Outs

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: Random urine specimen in a screw-capped container (preferred) or other sterile collection cup. (Minimum: 10.0 mL)

The specimen must be transported to the Laboratory immediately after the end of the collection interval. 

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

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

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: 15.0 mL random urine, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum: 10.0 mL)

Rejection Criteria

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

Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.

In-Lab Processing

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

Transport: 15.0 mL random urine, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (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 1-4 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 (VMA) and other catecholamine metabolites such as homovanillic acid (HVA) measurement in urine are used for screening children for catecholamine-secreting tumors such as neuroblastoma and other neural crest tumors and monitoring those who have had treatment for these tumors.

VMA is not the analyte of choice for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, which is better detected by testing for metanephrines.

CPT Codes

84585, 82570.
LOINC:  3122-9, 3124-5


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