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Test Code HVA Homovanillic Acid

Clinical System Name

Homovanillic Acid




This test is used to screen children for catecholamine-secreting tumors and to support a diagnosis of neuroblastoma.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Whole blood

Container(s): Gold SST, Red, Dark Green/Sodium Heparin, Lavendar/EDTA

Preferred Vol: 2 mL

Minimum Vol: 1 mL


Note: Microtainers are acceptable if a minimum of 0.6mL of serum/plasma is available for testing.


Processing Instructions

Reject due to: Microtainer

Spin: Y

Aliquot: Y

Temp: - 20 C

Storage location: CPA Freezer, Fz3 rack. Store the label with the specimen.


Off-site collection: Spin blood, send serum/plasma frozen.


Specimen Type Temperature Time
serum or plasma Room temp 24 h 
  Refrigerated 1 m
  Frozen 2 y



STAT Performed TAT
With approval T 3 - 10 d


Call Chemistry Lab for requests outside stated availability (206)-987-2565.

Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory    



Department:  Chemistry

Location: Chem West

Phone Number: (206) 987-2617




Reference Range


HVA </= 30 ng/mL



Method: LC/MS/MS

Analytical Volume: 0.5 mL serum or plasma



  1. Metaclopramide (Reglan) causes an endogenous transient elevation of HVA. VMA is not affected. Blood samples for HVA measurement should be drawn before receiving Reglan. Ondansetron (a serotonin receptor antagonist) also causes transient elevations in HVA.
  2. Quercetin causes an endogenous elevation of HVA. Wait 1 week after the last dose before drawing blood samples for HVA.

CPT Codes