Specimen Requirements


Catecholamines, Fractionated, Plasma

Specimen Requirement

Overnight fasting is required.

Draw blood in a pre-chilled green sodium heparin tube. Centrifuge within 30 munutes of collection, remove plasma from cells and send 2.5 mL minimum frozen in a screw-capped plastic vial. Indicate on transport tube “plasma/green top”.

Contact lab for dry ice for transport



Frozen: 30 DAYS (Refrig 6 hours)

Reference Range

By Report*


4-7 days

Clinical Use

Diagnose and treat hypertensive patients or patients suspected of having neural crest tumors of the adrenal medulla and extraadrenomedullary tissues (pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma); evaluate patients with orthostatic hypotension. Slight elevations of plasma catecholamines (less than 3-fold) are consistent with essential hypertension, intense physical activity, emotional and physical stress, drug interferences and improper specimen collection. Significantly elevated concentrations (greater than 3-fold), either persistent or paroxysmal, are suggestive of pheochromocytoma.

Test Code