Diagnostic Tests

Metanephrines 24 Hour Urine


Metanephrines 24 Hour Urine

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What is this test?

Pheochromocytoma is a rare, though potentially lethal, tumor of chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla that produces episodes of hypertension with palpitations, severe headaches, and sweating. Patients with pheochromocytoma may also be asymptomatic and present with sustained hypertension or an incidentally discovered adrenal mass. Pheochromocytomas and other tumors derived from neural crest cells (eg, paragangliomas and neuroblastomas) secrete catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine). Metanephrine and normetanephrine are the 3-methoxy metabolites of epinephrine and norepinephrine, respectively. Metanephrine and normetanephrine are both further metabolized to vanillylmandelic acid. Pheochromocytoma cells also have the ability to oxymethylate catecholamines into metanephrines that are secreted into circulation. In patients that are highly suspect for pheochromocytoma it may be best to screen by measuring plasma free fractionated metanephrines (a more sensitive assay). The 24-hour urinary fractionated metanephrines (a more specific assay) may be used as the first test for low suspicion cases and also as a confirmatory study in patients with a less than 2-fold elevation in plasma free fractionated metanephrines.

Test Preparation

No special preparation is needed for Metanephrines 24 Hour Urine. Inform your doctor if you are on any medications or have any underlying medical conditions or allergies before undergoing Metanephrines 24 Hour Urine. Your doctor depending on your condition will give specific instructions.

Understanding your test results

GenderAge groupsValue
MALEAll age groups44 - 261 mcg/24 hrs
FEMALEAll age groups30 - 180 mcg/24 hrs
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