Catecholamines urine


24 h urine collection with HCl as preservative.



Reference Interval:

Assay dependent.

Adrenaline: < 80 nmol/24 h

Noradrenaline: < 780 nmol/24 h

Dopamine: < 3,500 nmol/24 h


For Phaeochromocytoma, Free metanephrines (plasma) or urine fractionated metanephrines (Metanephrines urine) are the preferred screening tests.

Diagnosis of Phaeochromocytoma (increased urine adrenaline and/or urine noradrenaline); diagnosis of Neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroma (increased dopamine). 


Excretion of urinary adrenaline and noradrenaline is usually increased in Phaeochromocytoma, particularly after a hypertensive paroxysm.

Excretion may also be increased in malignant hypertension and with severe stress.

Some drugs (eg, labetalol) may interfere in some assays - consult pathologist.

See also Catecholamines, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymandelate, Homovanillic acid urine, Free metanephrines, Metanephrines urine and Clonidine suppression test.


Gerlo EAM and Sevens C. Clin Chem 1994; 40: 250-256.

Sawka AM et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003; 88(2): 553-558.

Eisenhofer G, Peitzsch M. Clin Chem 2014; 60: 1486-1499.