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Lab Manual for Moffitt-Long and Mount Zion

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Free Catecholamines, Fractionated, plasma

Item Value
Approval req'd? No
Available Stat? No
Test code CATP
Test group Catecholamines
Performed by Quest
Sendout? Yes
Method HPLC w/ electrochemical detection
Patient Preparation An 8 hour fast before specimen collection is preferred. Patient should avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco and strenuous exercise prior to collection. Patients should be relaxed in a supine (recommended) or upright position before blood is drawn. States of anxiety and stress can cause fluctuations in the catecholamine levels.
Collection Instructions Pre-chill tube. Bring all samples to the laboratory on wet ice immediately for separation and freezing of plasma within 15 minutes of collection. Indicate if patient was supine or upright during collection on the requisition.
Container type Dark Green top (on ice) (Light green top acceptable)
Amount to Collect 8 mL blood
Sample type Heparinized plasma
Preferred volume 4 mL plasma
Min. Volume 2.5 mL plasma
UCSF Rejection Criteria Not delivered on ice or delivered > 15 minutes after collection
Processing notes Process immediately. Plasma should be separated in a refrigerated centrifuge within 30 minutes of collection and then frozen immediately at -20C in plastic vials. Plasma MUST be RBC free. Order Quest # 8193N. Enter supine or upright information into Misys
Units pg/mL
Normal range Pediatric patient supine:
Children age 3-15 years:
Epinephrine ≤ 464 pg/mL
Norepinephrine ≤ 1251 pg/mL
Dopamine < 60 pg/mL

≥ 18 year olds patient supine:
Epinephrine < 50 pg/mL
Norepinephrine 112-658 pg/mL
Dopamine < 10 pg/mL
Total 123-671 pg/mL

≥ 18 year old patient upright (not recommended):
Epinephrine < 95 pg/mL
Norepinephrine 217-1109 pg/mL
Dopamine < 20 pg/mL
Total 242-1125 pg/mL


Pediatric normals from: J Chromatogr 1993 617:304-307
Synonyms Adrenaline; catechols; dopamine; noradrenaline; norepinephrine; epinephrine
Stability Room temperature 6 hours, refrigerated 6 hours, frozen at -20C 1 month.
Turn around times Test run Monday-Friday. Turnaround time: 2-5 days.
Additional information Generally recommended ONLY for tumor localization or for special evaluations such as clonidine suppression or glucagon stimulation.

To convert ng/L of Epinephrine or Norepinephrine to pmol/L (SI units) multiply by 5.45 or 5.91, respectively.

Due to the effects of stress, plasma levels are generally unreliable in infants and children, for whom urinary assays are recommended.
CPT coding 82384-90
LOINC code 42493-7
Last Updated 12/19/2012 4:29:20 PM
Entry Number 172

If you have additional questions regarding this test, please call: 415-353-1667

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