The measurement of homovanillic acid in urine is used to monitor patients with catecholamine-secreting tumors, to monitor the treatment of patients with neuroblastoma, and to check patients with potential congenital catecholamine metabolism disorders.
Homovanillic acid (HVA) is the major end-metabolite of dopamine, one of the three catecholamines. Dopamine breaks down in the liver and is excreted in the urine as homovanillic acid. Elevated levels may occur as a result of catecholamine-secreting tumors. In general, homovanillic acid as well as other catecholamine metabolites such as vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) are typically elevated in patients with catecholamine-secreting tumors (e.g., neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma).
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Brain tumors, Costello syndrome, ganglioneuroblastoma, occupational exposure to manganese, neuroblastoma, pheochromocytoma. Medications: Aminosalicylic acid, disulfiram, levodopa, methocarbamol, reserpine
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
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