Test Background Catecholamines (derived from tyrosine residues) are classed as phenethylamines; of these, adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine are the most abundant. They are produced mainly from the adrenal medulla in addition to the post-ganglionic fibres of the sympathetic nervous system, and function as hormones in the vascular system and neurotransmitters in the central/peripheral nervous systems. Their role is one of bringing about physiological changes preparatory to physical activity, eg. increased heart rate/blood pressure and gluconeogenesis. Elevated catecholamine turnover is observed in incidences of phaeochromocytoma and childhood neuroblastoma.
Clinical Indications Diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma/paraganglioma. Symptoms include: elevated heart rate, resistant arterial hypertension, palpitations, anxiety, diaphoresis, cardiomyopathy and headaches Differential diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma includes: anxiety disorders, carcinoid syndrome, essential hypertension, hyperthyroidism, renovascular hypertension, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and insulinoma
Reference Range Reference ranges will be given with the report