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Test Catalog

Test ID: VH    
Vanillylmandelic Acid (VMA) and Homovanillic Acid (HVA), Random, Urine

NY State Approved Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

First preferred test for screening for catecholamine-secreting tumors in a random urine specimen when requesting both homovanillic acid and vanillylmandelic acid


Supporting a diagnosis of neuroblastoma


Monitoring patients with a treated neuroblastoma


Homovanillic acid (HVA) and vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) measurements in urine are used for screening children for catecholamine-secreting tumors such as neuroblastoma, pheochromocytoma, and other neural crest tumors and monitoring those who have had treatment for these tumors.


HVA measurement is also useful to diagnose children with disorders of catecholamine metabolism such as monamine oxidase-A deficiency, which results in decreased urinary HVA values, and dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency, which results in elevated urinary HVA values.


VMA is not the analyte of choice for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, which is better detected by testing for metanephrines.


Treatment with L-dopa can impact test results and should be discontinued 24 hours prior to collection. Bactrim can impact test results and should be noted at time of collection.

Method Name A short description of the method used to perform the test

Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

Reporting Name A shorter/abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test; an abbreviated test name

VMA and HVA, Random, U

Aliases Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

HVA (Homovanillic Acid)
VMA (Vanillylmandelic Acid)
3-Methoxy-4-Hydroxymandelic Acid